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Fine, B.D. (1973). Reconstructions in Psychoanalysis: By Michael T. McGuire, M.D. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1971. 147 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 42:458-461.

(1973). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 42:458-461

Reconstructions in Psychoanalysis: By Michael T. McGuire, M.D. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1971. 147 pp.

Review by:
Bernard D. Fine

In this intriguing monograph which begins with a challenge to the underlying assumptions of the psychoanalytic theory of reconstruction and general psychic development, the author maintains an objective, historical-philosophical approach and concludes with an attempt to resolve some of the problems and paradoxes he has discussed. The work is erudite and perceptive in many aspects yet is unfortunately incomplete in terms of awareness of present-day classical psychoanalysis. Significant areas are left untouched: much of ego psychology, the work of Hartmann and Loewenstein on autonomous ego functions, free association and the genetic fallacy, the contributions of Kris and Greenacre on reconstruction and memory, as well as the careful studies of Anna Freud, Mahler, Solnit, McDevitt, Galenson and Roiphe (and many others) based on direct child observation and developmental studies. In addition, the central importance of transference and the transference neurosis in the reconstruction and understanding of the patient's past is minimally indicated.

The author's interest in the subject began about four years ago when he read R. G. Collingwood's The Idea of History. The latter's reasoning (as an 'idealist historian') about the nature of historical thought seemed to eliminate the 'confusion surrounding the role and uses of the past in psychoanalysis'. Briefly, the idealist's position emphasizes that the present view of the past is all that a historian can know (i.e.,

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