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Burston, D. (1993). The Revision of Psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm edited by Rainer Funk. Interventions: Theory and Contemporary Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992, xiv + 149 pp., $28.95. Psa. Books, 4(2):269-271.
   

(1993). Psychoanalytic Books, 4(2):269-271

The Revision of Psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm edited by Rainer Funk. Interventions: Theory and Contemporary Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992, xiv + 149 pp., $28.95

Review by:
Daniel Burston, Ph.D.

The Revision of Psychoanalysis consists of several lengthy fragments composed between 1968 and 1970 and can be thought of as a companion to another volume, The Crisis of Psychoanalysis, which was published around the same time (Fromm, 1970). Reading this posthumously published book was a pleasure because it substantiates many of my arguments and intuitions (see Burston, 1991). Fromm's sharp ambivalence about being grouped with Homey and Sullivan in the “cultural school” is plain throughout and is countered with insistent reminders that his work is closer to both Freud's and Marx's than theirs is. Equally apparent is his steadfast veneration for Freud—despite his Marxist leanings—which is evidenced by his attempt to salvage what is timelessly relevant in classical theory from what is obsolete or culturally conditioned, by his frequent references to Freud as “the master,” and by his occasional lapses into naïve idealization. At the same time he is critical of Freud's patriarchalism, mechanistic materialism, infantalization of patients through reliance on the couch, and so on.

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