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Stein, M.H. (1996). Samuel A. Guttman 1914-1995. Psychoanal Q., 65:623-626.

(1996). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 65:623-626

Samuel A. Guttman 1914-1995

Martin H. Stein

Sam Guttman died on the 18th of September, 1995, after a long and distressing illness, leaving us an invaluable legacy for which we remain lastingly grateful.

It must have been in the late fifties that I met Sam at some committee or other of the American Psychoanalytic Association. It did not take me long to realize that I had come across a remarkable person marked by brilliance, humor, and unusual creativity—and not without a few quirks of character. Many were lovable, such as his exceptional generosity of spirit and his sparkling wit; others required sympathetic understanding which, once given, led to admiration and lasting friendship. Never dull, he was, on the contrary, a man of great interest and complexity, to a degree unusual even in our profession. Above all, he had a profound knowledge and love of psychoanalysis. We became close friends and remained so until his death.

Soon after we met some thirty-seven years ago he described what struck me as a fantastic plan to encourage the development of psychoanalysis and its practitioners. He thought there would be an important place for a new type of group activity, one that would function as a learning process for mature psychoanalysts. It would be a country-wide, essentially leaderless organization which would give its participants the opportunity to spend time with one another in a neutral atmosphere, free of the usual stress and political considerations that inevitably color one's thinking and discussion within one's own institute and at meetings of the American.


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