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Pollock, G.H. (1991). The Freudians: A Comparative Perspective: By Edith Kurzweil. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1989. Pp. 371.. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 18:110-112.

(1991). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 18:110-112

The Freudians: A Comparative Perspective: By Edith Kurzweil. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 1989. Pp. 371.

Review by:
George H. Pollock

To attempt to tell the story of a new discipline, the evolution of its philosophies, theories, aims, modes of application to clinical and research work, the social, political, and group processes involved in its ongoing development, the role of the charismatic leaders and national allegiances, the short-term and long-term assessment of whether and which scientific and clinical contributions continue to be regarded as crucial or significant, whether these concepts, models or explanations play or played a role in the further elaboration, metamorphosis, or genesis of new ideas of others, and all of these activities simultaneously going on in different countries during crucial and troubling periods of history and migration are topics all worthy of lengthy discussion. Intense study, knowing the languages in which the ideas first appeared, and having a sense of the fields of study and of the methods of studying complexities from 'a comparative perspective' are also necessary.

Psychoanalysis began in Vienna through the extraordinary work of one individual—Sigmund Freud. Its language, models, symbols, and history must be viewed in this context. I agree, as Edith Kurzweil concludes in this volume, that

Freudian thought in one way or another will retain its hold on the human imagination … he has been a dominating figure in the modern mind and has revolutionized our way of thinking … Freud's ideas have permeated the consciousness of humanity, including the minds of those who swear they do not possess an unconscious … He supplied us with the means to explore 'scientifically' the roots of our modern imagination—a conscious and unconscious imagination that has taken off in different directions, responding to cultural traditions, influences, and trends (p.

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