This book presents a radical look at the founder of psychoanalysis in his broader cultural context, addressing critical issues and challenging stereotypes.
The life and work of Sigmund Freud continue to fascinate general and professional readers alike. Joel Whitebook here presents the first major biography of Freud since the last century, taking into account recent developments in psychoanalytic theory and practice, gender studies, philosophy, cultural theory, and more. Offering a radically new portrait of the creator of psychoanalysis, this book explores the man in all his complexity alongside an interpretation of his theories that cuts through the stereotypes that surround him. The development of Freud's thinking is addressed not only in the context of his personal life, but also in that of society and culture at large, while the impact of his thinking on subsequent issues of psychoanalysis, philosophy, and social theory is fully examined. Whitebook demonstrates that declarations of Freud's obsolescence are premature, and, with his clear and engaging style, brings this vivid figure to life in compelling and readable fashion.
'Whitebook has written a distinctive kind of intellectual biography, with a rich and complex agenda, which is far from reproducing those already available. He offers a perspective on Freud which incorporates new developments in psychoanalytic thinking and integrates psychoanalysis with broader philosophical trajectories. The result is outstanding: a biography with intellectual force that captivates its reader.' Sebastian Gardner, University College London
Table of Contents:
1. Wandering Jews - from Galicia to Vienna; 2. Freud's Bildung; 3. Science as vocation; 4. Starting out in Vienna; 5. A theoretical excursus; 6. 'Dear magician'; 7. Becoming the first psychoanalyst; 8. Jung and the Counter-Enlightenment; 9. Exorcising the 'Odium Jungian'; 10. 'What is painful may none the less be real' - loss, mourning, and Ananke; 11. Making sense of the death instinct; 12. Leaving heaven to the angels and the sparrows - Freud's critique of religion; 13. Late Freud and the early mother.
About the Author:
Joel Whitebook is a philosopher and psychoanalyst who maintained a private practice in New York City for twenty-five years. He is currently on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, and he is the Director of the University's Psychoanalytic Studies Program. He is also the author of Perversion and Utopia (1995) and numerous articles.