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Zabarenko, L.M. (1995). Psychoanalysis and the Sciences: Epistemology-History by André Haynal translated by Elizabeth Holder. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, xii + 290 pp., $30.00. Psa. Books, 6(4):562-566.

(1995). Psychoanalytic Books, 6(4):562-566

Psychoanalysis and the Sciences: Epistemology-History by André Haynal translated by Elizabeth Holder. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993, xii + 290 pp., $30.00

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

Here we have a rare but happy reviewer's quandary: a book with so many delights to recommend it that the trick is to eschew rhapsodizing and remain objective. It is only fair to begin with full disclosure: First, before reading this volume, I was not familiar with Haynal's work, although European colleagues recommended it enthusiastically, especially his work on Ferenczi. And, second, since I was lucky enough to have studied with Michael and Enid Balint, I already had a sense of their work, its place in the history of psychoanalysis, and its debt to Ferenczi. I will never forget a quiet Sunday evening in Regents Square when Michael Balint, thoroughly relaxed, spoke with candor and warmth about Ferenczi and the privilege and responsibility of being his literary executor. In any case, readers of this review are forewarned that I may have had a positive bias toward this book from the beginning, but you have my promise that I will strive for as much ruthlessness as possible.

The books' superb organization and craftsmanship will surely win students' hearts. If you are a browser, you can open this book anywhere and start to read comfortably, if you have a target, you will find that each chapter stands by itself. Many are favored with pixilated subtitles like, “The Story of My Tie (and What Ensues),” “A Committed Detective,” and “Parallel Processing.” Others are unequivocal: “On Self-Analysis,” or “Countertransference/Identity of the Psychoanalyst.” An author must be thinking cleanly and without absolute mastery to deliver this caliber of workmanship. Ask anyone who has tried.

And there are other treasures.

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