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A Most Dangerous Method [Paperback]

John Kerr
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

27 Feb 1995
This study of Jung and Freud, the two founding fathers of psychoanalysis, suggests that the work of both men was strongly influenced by their separate relationships with Sabina Spielrein, Jung's patient and subsequent lover who later became a confidante of Freud, and that their acrimonious split was based to a great extent on the private knowledge each man had gained about the other through Spielrein.

Product details

  • Paperback: 642 pages
  • Publisher: Sinclair-Stevenson Ltd; New edition edition (27 Feb 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856195120
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856195126
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.4 x 5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,271,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'All the more powerful for its author's scholarly but nimble style' Observer 'Kerr tells the story of Spielrein's life with great narrative skill, and argues persuasively for the importance of her work... Should be read by anyone with an interest in the cultural history of the 20th century.' Mail on Sunday 'Has all the elements of a juicy novel... riveting... Kerr's style is erudite and elegant.' Newsday 'A huge scholarly work... Gripping.' New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John Kerr was trained as a clinical psychologist at New York University. He is an editor at The Analytic Press, a scholarly press specialising in works on psychoanalysis, and was co-editor and a contributor to Freud and the History of Psychoanalysis. He divides his time between Boston and New York City. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Pills and Shadows 5 May 2012
By Graham Mummery TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came to this book with some trepidation. The Freud-Jung relationship has been examined over the years often descending into abuse and character assassination by those favouring one, or other, protagonist. To those of us who have found help in ideas of either, or both, it can be painful. In my case it's Jung more than Freud. But both contributed important ideas to the way we look at ourselves.

It is to John Kerr's credit that that he cuts though all this with scholarly precision, rising above the fray without resorting to sensationalism. "A Dangerous Method" is written with an elegance and style sustained through the five hundred odd pages of this story. What is great about both men is on display. But so is the worst. There are bitter pills to swallow which ever way one is inclined.

Kerr puts the story into their proper historical perspective of the state: of psychiatry and psychology at the turn of the twentieth century. Freud provided valuable insights into the types of hysteria that were prevalent at the time in Vienna. This was backed up by researches in psychiatric hospitals including ones done by Jung and his colleagues at Zurich, who also made important discoveries of their own. Thus, Freud and Jung owed a great deal to each other for getting their ideas recognized as well as both being geniuses. It was, perhaps, inevitable that they would eventually meet and collaborate, though even then there were differences, which meant that eventual split was perhaps equally inevitable.

However, as Kerr shows, the split was not solely about ideas. Caught between both was Sabine Spielrein, who emerges as a brilliant thinker in her own right. Yet she seems to have been largely forgotten. This is a shame.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 5 July 2014
By Horsley
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An excellent read if a long read. The subject matter is not for everyone.
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By K Allan
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thank you for the book. Very fast delivery and good quality. Highly recommended.
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