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Flugel, J.C. (1945). David Eder: Memoirs of a Modern Pioneer: Edited by J. B. Hobman. (Victor Gollancz, London, 1945. Pp. 215. Price, 8s. 6d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 26:77-78.

(1945). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 26:77-78

David Eder: Memoirs of a Modern Pioneer: Edited by J. B. Hobman. (Victor Gollancz, London, 1945. Pp. 215. Price, 8s. 6d.)

Review by:
J. C. Flugel

Several outstanding circumstances have combined to give David Eder a unique position among British psycho-analysts. In the first place, he was among the very earliest in this country to become interested in Freud's teachings and to take an active part in applying and disseminating them. In the second place, unlike most of his colleagues in this field, who have found in the theory and practice of psycho-analysis a sufficient occupation, he was also an ardent social worker and reformer. Thirdly, he had certain personality characteristics that distinguished him from others—above all that rare combination of strength with tolerance and kindliness which made him fit so supremely well the archetypal picture of the 'good father'. Lastly, again unlike most psycho-analysts, he had travelled widely in the remoter parts of the earth and had been able to study life on the fringes as well as in the great centres of Western civilization.

It was perhaps especially the unusual combination of psycho-analysis with Zionism and with an active participation in political and social movements that made it difficult for any one writer to give a full-length portrait of the man Eder in all his varied interests and activities. The present work, edited by J. B. Hobman, with a foreword by Freud and with contributions by Edward Glover, Harry Roberts, Leonard Stein and Sir Wyndham Deedes, will no doubt prove interesting reading to the very many who have known Eder in one or other aspect of his work and who will learn, perhaps for the first time, how active he was in ways of which they themselves had little or no inkling—for Eder was usually much too busy helping others to spend time on reminiscences of his own varied and eventful life.

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