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Simon, J. (2014). Reading Anna Freud, by Nick Midgley, Routledge, London, and New York, 2013, 236 pp., $47.95. This volume is part of a series from the New Library of Psychoanalysis, edited by Alessandra Lemma.. Psychodyn. Psych., 42(1):135-137.

(2014). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 42(1):135-137

Reading Anna Freud, by Nick Midgley, Routledge, London, and New York, 2013, 236 pp., $47.95. This volume is part of a series from the New Library of Psychoanalysis, edited by Alessandra Lemma.

Review by:
Jane Simon, M.D.

Based on themes and periods of Anna Freud's life, Reading Anna Freud begins with a most helpful chronology of her life and key publications. It is then organized into thirteen chapters, with each chapter focusing on key papers related to a major theme in order to provide a sense of how her thinking developed. Each chapter ends with suggestions for further reading, and the last chapter addresses the legacy of her work in a more general sense. This book intends to define Anna Freud's ideas and contributions to the history of psychoanalysis and its relevance today in the context of child therapy.

Anna Freud wore many hats: clinician, theorist, editor, fundraiser, committee member, and director of a number of major organizations. Best known today as one of the pioneers of child analysis, she was first and foremost a teacher and the first to propose that a child's needs take priority over an adult's. The fact that her teachings have been widely assimilated into common knowledge has at times obscured her contribution.

Born in 1895 in Vienna, Anna Freud was the sixth child of Martha and Sigmund Freud. Freud expected that psychoanalytic work with children would further the goals of education to guide children on their path and to shield them from going astray. He left the task to Anna. Her life can be divided into two periods: first, her time in Vienna until age 43 and then second, after a brief arrest by the Gestapo, her escape with her family to Paris and then to London.

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