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Apfel, R.J. Simon, B. (2005). Trauma, violence and psychoanalysis: September 11: Trauma and human bonds Edited by Susan W. Coates, Jane L. Rosenthal and Daniel S. Schechter Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press (Relational Perspectives Book Series, Vol 23). 2003. 312 pp.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(1):191-202.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(1):191-202

Trauma, violence and psychoanalysis: September 11: Trauma and human bonds Edited by Susan W. Coates, Jane L. Rosenthal and Daniel S. Schechter Hillsdale, NJ: Analytic Press (Relational Perspectives Book Series, Vol 23). 2003. 312 pp.

Review by:
Roberta J. Apfel

Bennett Simon

Violence or dialogue? Psychoanalytic insights on terror and terrorism Edited by Sverre Varvin and Vamik D. Volkan London, UK: International Psychoanalytical Association. 2003. 274 pp.

When the present reviewers confront the topic of terrorism and the threat of terrorism, several questions immediately leap to mind: first, will our children and grandchildren be safe? Second, is the world in which they will live the kind of world we have wished for ourselves and wish for them? Third, what kind of world will we live in for our remaining years? Fourth, what can we do, what can we get others to do, to affect the answers to these questions? Our answers cover a spectrum of activities, from storing up emergency supplies to working politically to influence the outcome of elections and of American foreign policy. Compared to the magnitude and immediacy of these questions, the question of what psychoanalysis can contribute appears relatively minor. Yet, being psychoanalysts, reading and writing about terrorism and its threats (threats both from the terrorists and from the war against terrorists) becomes a something that we can do. Our modest hope for psychoanalysis is that our field might provide a model of a space for thinking and for self-scrutiny that could enhance the quality and appropriateness of what we, as psychoanalysts, can and cannot do.

These two volumes, major contributions by psychoanalysts, are important acknowledgments of ourselves, our roles as analysts in the world and also of our own subjectivity as citizens living in this world in which we work.

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