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Burland, J.A. (1998). D. W. Winnicott. A Biographical Portrait. By Brett Kahr. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1996. 189 pp. Psychoanal Q., 67(4):726-727.

(1998). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 67(4):726-727

D. W. Winnicott. A Biographical Portrait. By Brett Kahr. Madison, CT: International Universities Press, Inc., 1996. 189 pp

Review by:
J. Alexis Burland

As the title promises, this book is indeed a “biographical portrait,” a brief and readable overview of the salient facts of Winnicott's life. Included is information about his family of origin, his birth in 1896, and his childhood, his school years, his medical, pediatric, and psychoanalytic education, his career, his major professional relationships (especially with the Kleinians), his friends and hobbies, the outlines of his career, his final years, and his death. A copy of his last will and testament closes the story.

As one who has always found reading Winnicott enlightening and entertaining, I approached this book curious to learn how he became the analyst we know. It is generally accepted that an analyst's theoretical creations stem largely from the topics central to his or her own analysis; we are given a few suggestive rumors about Winnicott's two lengthy analyses, but we are also informed about many aspects of his personal life that do offer clues as to what internal questions he was attempting to answer with his psychoanalytic researches.

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