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Segel, N.P. (1994). The Human Core: By Leo Rangell. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1990, 959 pp., 2 vols., $60.00 ea.. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 42:316-321.

(1994). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 42:316-321

The Human Core: By Leo Rangell. Madison, CT: Int. Univ. Press, 1990, 959 pp., 2 vols., $60.00 ea.

Review by:
Nathan P. Segel, M.D.

When we review a man's life work, especially in our own field, it is fitting and proper to start with the man himself. While these two volumes of 35 chapters are but a fraction of the some 300 papers Rangell has had published, they reflect a condensed but precise picture of the author who, in his dedication of this work to his wife, succinctly described it as "a distillate of a half-century of immersion in the practice of psychoanalysis and concern for its theory." The operative words here are practice and theory, or clinical work and metapsychology. Throughout his writings, he describes his clinical observations, extracts from them theoretical concepts, which are then filtered through the various metapsychological points of view which, in addition to the structural, include the genetic, dynamic, and economic, and then shows how they intimately affect and inform our therapeutic technique. Further, from this combined viewpoint, he makes his own revisions, modifications, and unique contributions to existing metapsychology, not to start his own congregation, but to continue the living process of synthesizing and updating psychoanalytic theory and practice as Freud himself and many of those who followed him strove to do.


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