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Roth, N. (1982). Freud and His Patients: Mark Kanzer, M.D. and Jules Glenn, M.D., Eds., Jason Aronson, New York, 1980, 452 pp. Price: $25.00.. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 10(4):638.
(1982). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 10(4):638
Freud and His Patients: Mark Kanzer, M.D. and Jules Glenn, M.D., Eds., Jason Aronson, New York, 1980, 452 pp. Price: $25.00.
Review by: Nathan Roth, M.D.
This superlative volume, the second in the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Series of the Downstate Psychoanalytic Institute, continues the excellent pattern of its predecessor, entitled, Freud and His Self-Analysis. It reviews in minute detail the classical case histories on which all psychoanalytic students have been reared.
With the aid of contributions from many authors, the case histories are reinterpreted and viewed from every angle by which new understanding may be obtained. Recent metapsychological and dynamic formulations are applied, and the clinical material is seen anew in more contemporary terms.
Additional historical material has been unearthed and brought to bear in shedding light on the understanding of these cases. Perhaps the most dramatic information of this type has been contributed by William G. Niederland in his clarification of the role played by Schreber's father in the formation of the son's delusions. This father was a strange and sadistic physician who achieved fame in Germany by his cruel teachings on how to bring up children, a codification of almost diabolical regulations which he applied to his own children. One wonders what it is about the German people that allows their acceptance of such leaders. Another excellent contribution made by Eugene Halpert clarifies the identification of the Wolf Man with the Russian poet, Lermontov, at whose grave the Wolf Man wept when his sister died.
The material of this book deals only with the case histories that Freud published. There is, however, additional material about how Freud handled other patients, and one wishes that such cases had also been included. They teach much about Freud's capabilities as a physician and psychiatrist.
This volume, like its predecessor, is more than a review of its titular contents. It constitutes a very substantial addition to the biographical studies of Freud, making him one of the most thoroughly investigated and discussed men in human history. The book is an absolutely delightful reading experience for a psychoanalyst. To say that it deserves a wide readership is a gross understatement; analysts should be strongly urged to read it.
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