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Zabarenko, L.M. (1990). Freud Reappraised A Fresh Look at Psychoanalytic Theory by Robert R. Holt New York: Guilford, 1989, xiii + 433 pp., $40.00. Psa. Books, 1(4):429-434.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Books, 1(4):429-434

Freud Reappraised A Fresh Look at Psychoanalytic Theory by Robert R. Holt New York: Guilford, 1989, xiii + 433 pp., $40.00

Review by:
Lucy M. Zabarenko, Ph.D.

A venerable Shakespeare scholar I know strolls among the Bard's characters remarking on their peculiarities with the same acerbic certainty she applies to colleagues, students, friends and family. Her warmth, incessant curiosity, and sincere interest are sparingly tempered with compassion and scantily diluted with patience for the slow. She may as readily comment that “of course, Juliet ran the whole thing, you know” or “I never saw a ‘Shrew’ that failed to interest me” as “Dr. T is bright enough, but that man's addiction to adverbs will eventually do him out of tenure.”

For 30 years Robert Holt has brought just this sort of respectful familiarity and clearheaded objectivity to his study of Freud's ideas. Some of his most important works have been collected into this book, where they feel as fresh and evocative as ever. Rumor has it that the book was originally titled, “Where Freud Went Wrong.” The conservative title is more apt, but the discarded one is pure essence of Holt.

Reading this book is like sitting on the shoulders of a thorough, puckish Gulliver as he strides about the landscape of psychoanalytic theory, using his estimable intellect to examine every concept with a profound sense of history.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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