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Michels, R. (1989). Freud or Reich? Psychoanalysis and Illusion: By Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Bela Grunberger. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1986, 254 pp., $30.00.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 37:220-222.

(1989). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 37:220-222

Freud or Reich? Psychoanalysis and Illusion: By Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Bela Grunberger. New Haven: Yale Univ. Press, 1986, 254 pp., $30.00.

Review by:
Robert Michels, M.D.

Psychoanalysis means different things in different parts of the world and in different historical periods. This book was written in France in the 1980's, a response to a French intellectual dialogue that began in 1968 and flourished in the 1970's. To an American reader, it seems dated and largely irrelevant to what most Americans today consider to be psychoanalysis. For some on this side of the Atlantic it might illustrate that very special world of French intellectual life that is so difficult to translate, both culturally and linguistically.

The authors, distinguished psychoanalysts, start by arguing that psychoanalysis "is not an addition to the psychiatric arsenal of treatments" but "the key which unlocks the doors to knowledge of the species, in all aspects of our behavior and activities" (p. 30).

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