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Berman, L.E. (1983). Lives, Events, and Other Players. Directions in Psychobiography. Volume IV, Downstate Psychoanalytic Institute Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Series: Edited by Joseph T. Coltrera, M.D. New York/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1981. 320 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 52:473-477.

(1983). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 52:473-477

Lives, Events, and Other Players. Directions in Psychobiography. Volume IV, Downstate Psychoanalytic Institute Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Series: Edited by Joseph T. Coltrera, M.D. New York/London: Jason Aronson, Inc., 1981. 320 pp.

Review by:
Leon E.A. Berman

This volume in the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Series of the Downstate Psychoanalytic Institute is divided into four sections. The first is devoted to an introduction by the editor. The three subsequent sections contain contributions by an outstanding group of writers in the field of psychoanalytic biography.

Coltrera's introduction is a rich and scholarly survey of the historical, philosophical, and scientific origins of psychoanalytic biography. Beginning with Freud's roots in nineteenth century German romanticism and ending with the political psychobiography of the nineteen sixties and seventies, the editor attempts to blend the approaches and methodologies of psychoanalytic biography with history, philosophy, and the development of psychoanalytic theory. It is an ambitious undertaking, for which Coltrera seems uniquely qualified, but it deserves a book in its own right. As an introduction it is complex and sometimes rambling and disorganized. While touching upon the contributions that are to follow, it does little to establish a framework for them.

In

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