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Viederman, M. (1992). The Ability to Mourn. Disillusionment and the Social Origins of Psychoanalysis: By Peter Homans. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1989. 390 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 61:497-501.

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(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:497-501

The Ability to Mourn. Disillusionment and the Social Origins of Psychoanalysis: By Peter Homans. Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 1989. 390 pp.

Milton Viederman Author Information

This book is frequently intriguing in its elaboration and integration of ideas, but exasperating in its turgidity of style and, at times, in its content. This reader tended to reread the introduction periodically as he read the text in order to anchor himself in the basic intellectual structure of the book.

Although admiring of Freud as an innovative genius and creative thinker, Homans does to Freud what Freud did to humankind. He deposes the founder of psychoanalysis from the center of the psychoanalytic universe in its broadest sense and sees the roots of psychoanalysis as originating in the breakdown of the medieval

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