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Glenn, J. (1992). Freud, Dora and Vienna 1900: By Hannah S. Decker. New York: The Free Press, 1991. 299 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 61:635-639.

(1992). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 61:635-639

Freud, Dora and Vienna 1900: By Hannah S. Decker. New York: The Free Press, 1991. 299 pp.

Review by:
Jules Glenn

Hannah Decker is the ideal person to produce an interdisciplinary book on Freud's patient Dora. An Associate Professor of History at the University of Houston and a teacher in the Department of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine, she is extremely knowledgeable about the psychoanalytic literature and is an expert on the historical and political forces at work during, before, and after Freud's and Dora's lifetimes. Freud, Dora and Vienna 1900 contains much that will fascinate psychoanalysts.

The author's extensive research has allowed her to identify Dora, her family (originally reported by Arnold Rogow), and Herr K, in addition to the locations where the drama took place. She fills out the case history by describing the types of treatment Dora underwent before she saw Freud, and she provides a follow-up of the case from the time Dora stopped seeing Freud until her death in New York City in 1945. Decker explores Freud's emotional reactions to his patient from multiple perspectives—his personal blind spots and conflicts, as well as historically determined attitudes and influences. She examines the case itself and suggests personal historical and familial dynamics that Freud did not fully investigate, or even ignored. Decker considers types of treatment that Dora might have entered. She applies a feminist critique to Freud's thinking and to earlier psychoanalysts' attitudes that, even though they now may be altered and corrected, is devastating to the psychoanalytic reader.

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