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Freud: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Kindle Edition]

Anthony Storr
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) revolutionized the way in which we think about ourselves. From its beginnings as a theory of neurosis, Freud developed psycho-analysis into a general psychology which became widely accepted as the predominant mode of discussing personality and interpersonal relationships.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


Editorial Reviews

Review


"Invaluable to the novice approaching Freud's works for the first time....As an evaluation of Freud's theory, Storr's book is concise and up-to-date....An important addition to any library collection."--Choice


"Storr's brief, elegant, and interesting book coolly surveys what we might term the house of Freud and finds almost everything flawed...yet he does not dispute that the builder of the shaky house was a genius."--D.M. Thomas, The Observer


"A model exercise in synthesis."--The Independent


Review


"Invaluable to the novice approaching Freud's works for the first time....As an evaluation of Freud's theory, Storr's book is concise and up-to-date....An important addition to any library collection."--Choice


"Storr's brief, elegant, and interesting book coolly surveys what we might term the house of Freud and finds almost everything flawed...yet he does not dispute that the builder of the shaky house was a genius."--D.M. Thomas, The Observer


"A model exercise in synthesis."--The Independent



Product Details

  • File Size: 962 KB
  • Print Length: 177 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0192854550
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks (February 22, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192854550
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192854551
  • ASIN: B005DKR4QA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,327 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I dig Freud! April 27, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Yes, it's true that he pretty much reduced everything to sex in some way or other. But if you go beyond that little foible then you see that SF was one of the most brilliant people of the last century, without doubt. There's a section in here on his analysis of jokes and why we tell them that is priceless. And if you are honest with yourself then you will have to admit that he is exactly right on target. This book has definitely spurred my interest in the field and SF himself. I do think that the author glosses over SF's religious views and writings a little too glibly, as though he thinks that SF really didn't believe what he wrote. I actually think that these are some of the most profound of Freud's writings and some that I definitely intend to pursue further. All in all though, this is definitely worth your time and money.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulous short introduction to Freud's thought March 5, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best (and definitely among the longest) of the books that I have read in the Very Short Introduction series. I have to confess at the outset that I'm not a fan of Freud. Over the years I've dipped into his work from time to time, but each time have found him off putting and many of his ideas counter intuitive. It was helpful for me to realize that many others, including psychologists like Anthony Storr, also find much of what Freud wrote to be either wrong or in need of considerable emendation. I was always sceptical that our dreams (or at least my dreams) had the kind of structure that Freud insisted that they did. And I felt his reasoning about the sexualization of desires of very small children implied a vastly more sophisticated understanding of sex than I possessed as a young child. I have found the object-relations school to be infinitely more persuasive than Freud on child-mother or child-father attachments, and not just because that school actually saw a major role for the mother compared to Freud. I was also hurt in my explorations of Freud by reading what Storr argues are his worst books, things like MOSES AND MONOTHEISM, which I frankly found absurd, or his book on jokes.

So, my impression over the years was that Freud was borderline silly. I credited him with causing us to take more seriously child development and to acknowledge the centrality of sexuality in our lives, but I found the general contours of his thought to be quite unhelpful in understanding my own life. I must admit that I was also put off Freud by a host of writers who misused psychology in exploring everyday life. I once was talking to my professor at Yale, Paul L. Holmer, about W. Jackson Bates's great biography of Samuel Johnson.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laura:... July 4, 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is a very good general view of freud's ideas, theories, and views. I would recommend it if you are just stating out. It has clear language too. However it is not terribly indepth so be forewarned that it may not meet all needs. It is a good general resource though.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
We are all aware of many of Freud's ideas, even if we're not conscious aware of that derivation. The concept of the id, the ego, the super-ego, Oedipal complex, etc., are now so much a part of our everyday language that we could find it easy to forget that they have not always been so.

This little book is truly a perfect introduction to Freud's life and work for those who'd never read any Freud and who want to get a good starting point. The writing is exceptionally clear and remarkably unbiased - readers will gain a good understanding of why Freud was so fêted and they will also have the information to make decisions on whether his theories are justified. To acknowledge that Freud was a highly intelligent man is not to admit that he understood human nature. In fact, in his case studies and his determined turning of every neurosis to a sexual starting point is the most exasperating element one encounters in reading Freud - that of Freud's certainty of his own right point of view, without the evidence to support that viewpoint.

But certainly the reader will be able to follow up on the writing here. For those wishing to read Freud's own works, his books have been translated into English for those who are not able to read the original German. I have always found reading Freud to be a puzzling experience. On the one hand, the man had a very intelligent way of writing. On the other, he leapt to conclusions without bridging the gap with anything other than his own certainty. One can certainly "interpret" Freud in terms other than the organic or strictly literal, but any reading of his own writing will reveal to the reader that Freud didn't have a metaphorical interpretation in mind. But even if his ideas were often stubbornly wrong, Freud is well worth reading.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cramming Freud January 15, 2002
Format:Paperback
An interesting and informative reader on the works of Sigmund Freud which should assist the lay reader who does not require too much detail. For the professional reader it is a quick and handy guide/refresher on the important things that Freud wrote. Storr's approach is lively and succinct. He helps us to understand Freud and his thinking by example, illustration and critique. He also shows us the progression of Freud's work and the development of psychoanalysis as we know it today. This short introduction is an excellent achievement in condensation of the Standard Editions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very balanced approach to the subject
I am going to be honest: I came to read this book with a very negative image of Freud from a scientific point of view. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alejandro
3.0 out of 5 stars Really? Are you kidding me?
It seems to me that an introduction to someone's work should spend more ink explaining that work than trashing it. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting reading
Any student of psychology would love to read this short introduction. It is not overly detailed and provides an insight into Freud's.
Published 11 months ago by Mohammad Amjadullah Khan
2.0 out of 5 stars too much opinion mixed with good information on Freud.
I thought there was too much opinion (and current thought) mixed with good information on Freud. I also found the reading a bit pompous.
Published on January 22, 2013 by naama hochstein
5.0 out of 5 stars The best I've run across . . .
Over the years, I suppose I have read a dozen different introductions to Freud's work. This is by far the best. Read more
Published on January 8, 2013 by Ron Palumbo
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I need this book for class and it came in a timely manner and I just enjoyed the ease of reading this book. It is straightforward and to the point.
Published on February 18, 2012 by Edward Garcia
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Understanding
For anyone looking for a good introduction to Freud's thinking and writing, this is the place to start. Read more
Published on November 22, 2011 by J. Smallridge
5.0 out of 5 stars A first-rate introduction to Freud
Freud is now somewhat unfashionable, and stands on the periphery of current psychological thought and practice. Read more
Published on June 9, 2007 by Peter Reeve
5.0 out of 5 stars A few words on Freud's genius
I concur with the other reviews I have seen on this book. It is a clearly written , fine introduction to Freud's work. Read more
Published on April 3, 2005 by Shalom Freedman
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