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Ekstein, R. (1979). My Analysis with Freud. Reminiscences: By A. Kardiner, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1977. 123 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 48:319-320.

(1979). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 48:319-320

My Analysis with Freud. Reminiscences: By A. Kardiner, M.D. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1977. 123 pp.

Review by:
Rudolf Ekstein

Sigmund Freud died almost forty years ago, and the number of those who knew him personally, studied under him, or were analyzed by him grows smaller and smaller. Abram Kardiner is one of the few who form a living bridge to those days and can describe at first hand Freud's influence on American psychoanalysis and psychiatry, including his impact on the first American psychoanalytic institute in New York City. This publication of Kardiner's reminiscences is part of a larger autobiography which has been compiled from tapes. It is expected that this oral history will soon be made generally available.

I found Kardiner's memories of his analysis in the early 'twenties, combined with his recent perspectives on psychoanalysis, particularly worthwhile. We become aware of Freud's powerful impact on his students at that time, an impact limited to some degree by Freud's choice of confining his analyses of students, the forerunners of later training analyses, to six months. The book also gives us insight into the kind of disciples who moved from America to Europe in order to become acquainted with Freud's teachings and to dedicate themselves to psychoanalysis. They were indeed pioneers, many of them highly individualistic people, newcomers to a social scene who struggled a long time to become a part of an organized group. When they first became students of Freud, they were really blind followers. Later they frequently rebelled against the "orthodoxy" of their earlier unqualified adherence and made important contributions of their own.

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