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Roazen, P. (1990). Freud, Appraisals and Reappraisals: Contributions to Freud Studies (3 Volumes). Psychoanal. Psychol., 7(4):581-589.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 7(4):581-589

Freud, Appraisals and Reappraisals: Contributions to Freud Studies (3 Volumes)

Review by:
Paul Roazen, Ph.D.

Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals: Contributions to Freud Studies, Volume I, edited by Paul E. Stepansky. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1986, 288 pp., $29.95.

Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals: Contributions to Freud Studies, Volume II, edited by Paul E. Stepansky. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1987, 224 pp., $29.95.

Freud: Appraisals and Reappraisals: Contributions to Freud Studies, Volume III, edited by Paul E. Stepansky. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, 1987, 224 pp., $29.95.

As psychoanalysis nears its 100th birthday, the relevant scholarship should be far advanced. It is by now widely known how much original documentation about Freud is still sealed up at the Library of Congress at the request of the Freud Archives in New York. Still, the state of interpretative scholarship ought not to be as primitive as it is today. Practicing analysts use Freud for their own purposes, and in most journals passages from Freud are regularly cited anachronistically; little effort goes into trying to understand Freud in his own time, but rather isolated words of his are bandied about in the context of today's therapeutic concerns.

It is in the midst of this regrettable state of affairs that these three volumes edited by Paul E. Stepansky are noteworthy. The various writers here, only a few of whom are clinicians, seek to understand Freud impartially as an object of historical inquiry. Although the essays inevitably suffer from flaws, taken as a whole they represent an admirable shift toward the professionalization of Freud studies.

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