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Winer, J.A. (2005). Psychoanalysis and (Auto)Biography: My Life in Theory. By Leo Rangell. A JAPA Book. Edited by Fred Busch. New York: Other Press, 2004, 363 pp., $35.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 53(4):1371-1375.

(2005). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 53(4):1371-1375

Psychoanalysis and (Auto)Biography: My Life in Theory. By Leo Rangell. A JAPA Book. Edited by Fred Busch. New York: Other Press, 2004, 363 pp., $35.00.

Review by:
Jerome A. Winer

Leo Rangell has spent six decades contributing to scientif ic theory, five of them to psychoanalysis. He has served as president of both the American Psychoanalytic Association and the International Psychoanalytical Association, each of them twice. Rangell has written 450 articles and seven books, almost all of them still of more than historical interest. He has remained a clear-thinking, cogent writer dealing with salient theoretical issues well into his nineties. His recent e-mails on the members’ open-line of the American Psychoanalytic Association are but one proof of this fact.

Rangell has personal disdain for the term “classical analysis” because of its connotation of crumbling Greek or Roman columns. He himself has stood solidly in place demonstrating the value and currency of a good deal of Freud's discoveries and their theoretical explication, as well as the value of contributions made by those who followed him without major deviation. Rangell never claimed Freud “said it all” but went on to demonstrate how Freud's basic canon could be expanded and classified. This book documents these efforts and does so in a readable, informative fashion.

Rangell has read everything of importance to psychoanalysis, whether he agrees with it or not. He has carried on active correspondence with many younger and aspiring psychoanalytic writers, providing them generously with clear commentary, always with the aim of strengthening and facilitating their ef forts.

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