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Gottlieb, K.I. (1990). Freud: A Life for our Time: By Peter Gay. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1988. 810 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 59:109-115.

(1990). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 59:109-115

Freud: A Life for our Time: By Peter Gay. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1988. 810 pp.

Review by:
Kenneth I. Gottlieb

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, saw no limits to his own curiosity but did not wish to be scrutinized by others. He was "alarmed" that the writer, Arnold Zweig, wished to become his biographer and wrote him, in 1936: "No, I am far too fond of you to allow such a thing to happen. Anyone turning biographer commits himself to lies, to concealments, to hypocrisy, to flattery, and even to hiding his own lack of understanding, for biographical truth is not to be had…" Consistent with the concern that he would not "escape whipping were he used after his desert," Freud twice systematically destroyed his written correspondence, diaries, and manuscripts—in his late twenties (with fame not even a glimmer) and again, two decades later.

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