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Anna Freud, the youngest of Sigmund Freud's six children, and the only one to make her career in psychoanalysis, was born in Vienna on 3 December 1895. Starting her professional life as a schoolteacher, she became a member of the Vienna Psycho-Analytical Society in 1922. She maintained a lifelong interest in education, and her extensive contributions in this field were matched by those in all aspects of family law, pediatrics, as well as psychoanalytic psychology, normal and abnormal. Her work in Vienna was brought to an end by the Nazi occupation and she found sanctuary in London with her parents in 1938. Her father died in the following year, but Anna Freud maintained the tradition he began in her work as a member of the British Psycho-Analytical Society and as the founder of the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic - now the Anna Freud Centre. Her services to psychoanalysis were recognized by the award of the CBE in 1967 and by a large number of honorary doctorates on both sides of the Atlantic, including as a gesture of reparation, an honorary MD from the University of Vienna. She died on 9 October 1982.
When The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense was first published in German in 1936 it was at once recognized as a major contribution to psychoanalytic psychology, and its translation into English quickly followed. More than half a century later it enjoys the status of a classic. Written by a pioneer of child analysis, and illustrated by fascinating clinical pictures drawn from childhood and adolescence, it discusses those adaptive measures by which painful and unwanted feeling-states are kept at bay or made more bearable.Anna Freud's arguments have a clarity and cogency reminiscent of her father's and the work is remarkable undated. Nothing stands still, but The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense has unmistakably passed the test of time.