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Freud: In His Time and Ours

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About the Author

Elisabeth Roudinesco is Head of Research in History at University of Paris VII Denis Diderot.


Freud, a pioneer in creative biography, meets his analyst, a woman who illuminates modern psychology and social evolution for general audiences. This is perhaps the most important Freud biography since that of Jones, and a welcome corrective.--E. James Lieberman"Library Journal (starred review)" (10/01/2016) A revealing portrait of a cultural revolutionary.--Bryce Christensen"Booklist (starred review)" (11/01/2016) Through seamlessly and eloquently weaving together details from Freud's time and our own, [Roudinesco] provides a refreshingly new and welcome account--warts and all.--Janet Sayers"Times Higher Education" (11/10/2016) [Roudinesco] provides an insightful, balanced, and sympathetic portrait of Freud. As she assesses Freud's revolutionary ideas about rationality, sexuality, and the unconscious, Roudinesco demonstrates that Freud was less a scientific thinker who uncovered universal truths than a product of his time: a genius, to be sure, but very much a bourgeois shaped by society, family, and politics in the late 19th century...Her critique has an especially persuasive force because it is grounded not only in an analysis of Freud's books, diaries, and letters but from accounts of his sessions with patients.--Glenn C. Altschuler"Psychology Today" (11/03/2016) A new standard...[A] masterful achievement...It has the...tangible mix of insouciance, scholarly thoroughness and psychoanalytic acumen, and it demonstrates Roudinesco's critical and philosophical talent. The book's strength is not so much in providing new material, although it does supply intriguing details about Freud's patients and his relationships with family, friends, opponents and disciples. Rather, Roudinesco offers us a rereading of Freud that makes sense of him in relation to his emergence in the Jewish Vienna of the second half of the 19th century, and to the 'old Europe' to which he was so attached until it crumbled in the 20th.--Stephen Frosh"Jewish Chronicle" (11/25/2016) This is a book which eschews simple answers and is thus a significant milestone in our understanding of Freud... Roudinesco's work is both comprehensive and subtle... In reclaiming [Freud] as 'the master interpreter of civilization and culture, ' she has provided an invaluable service.--Stuart Kelly"Scotland on Sunday" (12/04/2016) A balanced account of one of the most exceptional and daring thinkers and writers to emerge in the modernist era.--J.P. O'Malley"Irish Times" (10/07/2017) [A] compelling biography...Forget the science: Roudinesco presents a brilliant cultural commentator, a man who married Romanticism and science in a way attractive to the belle poque. In fact, the biographer anchors Freud to his time and place in a way he himself--for all his focus on 'civilization and its discontents'--never managed.--Brian Bethune"Maclean's" (12/03/2016) lisabeth Roudinesco's new biography, Freud: In His Time and Ours, is a welcome reminder of Freud's considerable influence on 20th-century intellectual life. More important, she puts center stage Freud's complex brand of rationalism and the full scope of his achievements, which went far beyond offering a cure for individuals. In particular, Roudinesco captures Freud's recognition of the insurmountable ways in which our irrational desires and longings shape who we are and how we act. This correction is needed not only to give us a more accurate sense of Freud's innovations, but also to contrast it against today's more complacent assumptions about human rationality. Despite what economists and psychologists and political scientists insist, the rational self is not always master in its own house--whether in individual life or in collective experience...Roudinesco recounts Freud's life and the development of his thought with great flair.--Samuel Moyn"The Nation" (11/02/2016) Do we think we know all there is to know about Freud? Not even close. lisabeth Roudinesco's book is full of fresh facts about Freud's life and potent interpretation of his work. A sparkling and highly original intellectual biography.--Mark Edmundson, author of The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days What makes Freud: In His Time And Ours...such a captivating read, is the author's ability to explain what are often complex, deeply-layered, and dark taboo subjects, into a language that is easily understood...[A] brilliant biography.--J. P. O'Mallery"Irish Examiner" (10/08/2016)

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