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Cooper, J. (1987). Freud or Reich? Psychoanalysis and Illusion by Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Bela Grunberger. Published by Free Association Books: London 1986, 256 pp.; £8.50 paperback, £20 cloth.. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(3):274-277.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(3):274-277

Freud or Reich? Psychoanalysis and Illusion by Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Bela Grunberger. Published by Free Association Books: London 1986, 256 pp.; £8.50 paperback, £20 cloth.

Review by:
Judy Cooper

There is a pragmatic tradition in this country which has prevented ideologies from having the same place here as they have in Continental Europe. It amounts to an intellectual and emotional ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’, in place of the absolutes of ideological fare with which the thoughtful as well as the thoughtless grow up in Continental Europe. This stimulating and professionally highly reputable book comes out of an upsurge of ideology in the revolutionary days of May 1968 in France in which Willhelm Reich was rediscovered as the prophet of the Left. His entire works were translated into French and reprinted by reputable publishing houses. There is now in France a total reversal of this political phase yet the authors are convinced of, and develop in their book the reasons for, an ultimate and dangerous revival of the return of the ‘ideologists’, whom they see as the antagonists of psychoanalysis and whose founder Thomas Mann called Freud the ‘great destroyer of illusion’.

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