The fledgling science of psychoanalysis permanently altered the nineteenth-century worldview with its remarkable new insights into human behavior and motivation. It quickly became a benchmark for modernity in the twentieth century--though its durability in the twenty-first may now be in doubt.
More than a hundred years after the publication of Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, we're no longer in thrall, says cultural historian Eli Zaretsky, to the "romance" of psychotherapy and the authority of the analyst. Only now do we have enough perspective to assess the successes and shortcomings of psychoanalysis, from its late-Victorian Era beginnings to today's age of psychopharmacology. In Secrets of the Soul, Zaretsky charts the divergent schools in the psychoanalytic community and how they evolved-sometimes under pressure-from sexism to feminism, from homophobia to acceptance of diversity, from social control to personal emancipation. From Freud to Zoloft, Zaretsky tells the story of what may be the most intimate science of all.
--- from the publisher
"With the end of the 'Freudian Century, ' psychoanalysis is now a cultural study rather than a medical treatment. Eli Zaretsky not only makes this claim but charts its complex history. The placing of psychoanalysis in its historical and social context and teasing out the relationship behind its enormous importance and its continuous marginality, is what we have been waiting for. An important book." -Juliet Mitchell
"An intelligent, thoroughly well-informed effort to fit Freud's psychoanalysis into its culture, a history-minded enterprise that analysis badly needs." -Peter Gay, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus, Yale University
"The legacy of psychoanalysis is not easy to assess. . . . Secrets of the Soul is a welcome guide through the labyrinth." --"The Boston Globe
"In this expansive and authoritative work . . . Zaretsky charts the many shifts in Freud's thinking over the course of his long creative life." --"The Washington Post Book World