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Lothane, Z. (1996). Three Instances Of Injustice. By K. R. Eissler. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1993, viii + 265 pp., $37.50.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 44:603-607.

(1996). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 44:603-607

Three Instances Of Injustice. By K. R. Eissler. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1993, viii + 265 pp., $37.50.

Review by:
Zvi Lothane

Viennese-born Kurt Eissler is undoubtedly the most original, the most orthodox, and the most prolific among living psychoanalysts. Now nearing ninety, his sheer indefatigable creative energy is nothing short of amazing, as is the power of his style and the breadth of his vision. By “orthodox” I mean his having acted as an apologist for Freud, some say a fanatic about Freud, against all manner of critics and bashers. Among the bashers there are those who have smeared Freud's personality and those who have attacked the method and the theories. While Freud's genius and his stature as the greatest psychologist since Aristotle remain undiminished by the ad hominem diatribes, it does not follow that Freud was always right, as Eissler would have us believe, or that debating Freud is bad for business or hostile to Freud. For example, both Jacob Arlow and Charles Brenner have over the years debated Freud's ideas in lectures and publications.

The leitmotiv that runs as a crimson thread through the three seemingly disparate essays in this volume is Eissler's brief against malicious gossip and slander; a secondary theme is the more or less ghostlike presence of Jeffrey Masson, who has made quite a splash in the history of North American psychoanalysis in the last decade, with his assault on Freud and the long law tangle with Janet Malcolm.

The second essay, “The Unreliability of Memories,” is a defense of Freud against the insinuation of a sexual liaison with his sister-in-law Minna Bernays, a favorite sport of muckrackers, in this case Jung and his interviewer Billinsky.

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