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Schafer, R. (1977). Life History and the Historical Moment: By Erik H. Erikson. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1975. 283 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 46:544-545.

(1977). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 46:544-545

Life History and the Historical Moment: By Erik H. Erikson. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1975. 283 pp.

Review by:
Roy Schafer

This is almost entirely a collection of already published occasional pieces—book reviews, discussions for Daedalus Conferences, invited addresses, a contribution to a collection of essays, plus two new stock-taking essays. They serve not so much to extend Erikson's earlier contributions as to explain, amend or defend them. Judged from the standpoint of the clinical psychoanalyst, their quality is variable. The review of Freud's "Fliess Letters" is a gem. The methodological discussion of psychohistorical evidence is simultaneously dialectically tough-minded and seductively question-begging. The autobiographical essay, despite the interesting information it contains, is unsatisfactory in that it promises more than it delivers.

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