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The Life and Ideas of James Hillman: The Making of a Psychologist: 1 [Hardcover]

Dick Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

18 July 2013
The Making of a Psychologist covers the first half of the life of Dr. James Hillman, who is considered by many as the world's foremost post-Jungian thinker. He is also considered the founder of archetypal psychology, and is the author of more than twenty books, including the number one best-selling title, The Soul's Code. We follow Hillman from his youth in the heyday of Atlantic City, through post-war Paris and Dublin, travels in Africa and Kashmir, onward to Zurich and the Jung Institute, which appointed him its first Director of Studies in 1960. This first of a two-volume authorized biography is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews with Hillman and others over a seven-year period, The Making of a Psychologist examines how Hillman's unique psychology was forged through his life experiences and found its basis in the imagination, aesthetics, a return to the Greek pantheon, and the importance of "soul-making." Learn where Hillman started from, and have a better understanding of the mind of one of the most brilliant psychologist's of the 20th century.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Arcade Publishing (18 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 161145462X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1611454628
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 15.7 x 6.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 602,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The life and times of the world's foremost post-Jungian thinker, and best-selling author of The Soul's Code.

About the Author

Dick Russell has written for such varied publications as Time, Sports Illustrated, and The Village Voice. His books include The Man Who Knew Too Much, Black Genius, On The Trail of the JFK Assassination, as well as the New York Times bestsellers American Conspiracies and 63 Documents the Government Doesn't Want You to Read (both with Jesse Ventura). He splits his time between Boston, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles, California.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: may contain soul making! 26 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover
Join Dick Russell as he tells the first half of the story of James Hillman, a man hell bent on restoring soul's rightful place in our lives, the world... oh, and the therapy rooms of post-Jungian psychology. Through a careful mix of historical sources, letters, books, and interviews with Hillman and his friends and family, the remarkable story of this remarkable writer slowly unfolds.

As we might expect from the biography of the man who encouraged us to read our own lives backwards (in his 1996 book "The Soul's Code"), Hillman and his biographer interpret this story of a life in the terms of the soul-making world view that emerges from it. We see key moments in Hillman's life and how they influenced Hillman's thinking and awakened him to his daemon's hand. It's theory bought to life by the story of a life.

The book covers the first half of Hillman's life from its ancestral beginnings in 1926 to his departure from Zurich in 1967 under a cloud but not in one. This gives its subject time to grow down [sic!] in the boardwalk empire of Atlantic city, serve in the army, stumble around the world, land in Zurich and train as a Jungian analyst, write some books and give some lectures that upset the old guard, get himself in trouble, and emerge with the foundations of an archetypal psychology, his calling, tantalising in place but not yet fully realised.

Whether psychologist, Hillmaniac, myth maker, soul seeker, or just lover of a good story, there's something for you in this tale of a life well told. I expect you'll have trouble putting it down, as I did, and will join me in urging its author to hurry up with the sequel!

---
PS: Given the subject's love of the aesthetic, I find it ironic that the physical object of this book [US first edition] is so ugly: Commercially set for maximum page count and printed on nasty paper (with no acid-free assertion), compare it to the beautiful Hillman Uniform Edition... and weep.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a detailed, richly documented, sympathetically written portrayal 29 May 2013
By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
A fascinating portrait of the inner and outer life of one of depth psychology's most controversial and conversation-starting psychologists, this biography draws on interview material from a cast of characters, one of whom is Hillman himself: how many biographers get to interview their subject and discuss his biography before his death?

This first volume of a two-part work begins with Hillman's birth and childhood in Atlantic City (he was born in Room 101 of a hotel no less), goes into Hillman's ancestral roots, and moves forward through his school days, training as an analyst, and meetings with Jung, ending with Hillman's sudden insight that what he offered would differ significantly not only from mainstream psychology and psychotherapy, but with classical Jungian theory and practice too.

The book is packed with interesting anecdotal material, including Hillman's letters to various colleagues and loved ones, his observations about the course of his life, and--to name one of many humorous events--his staging of a Jung Institute play so naughty that Jung himself laughed uproariously while watching it. We also see a bit of the turbulence within the early Institute, some of whose founding practitioners seem to have been as unstable as the patients they analyzed. For a biography about a psychologist the book remains mercifully free of jargon; the psychology it does apply receives a clear explanation, often in Hillman's own words. (I found the symbolic connection between peaks / mountains and what Hillman understood as his mother complex most interesting.)

As one who knew Hillman--not through friendship but as a colleague who spoke and corresponded with him on occasion--and whose work greatly benefited from his (see Terrapsychology: Reengaging The Soul Of Place and Rebearths: Conversations with a World Ensouled), I found much here that explained aspects of Hillman I had always wondered about. Readers who are curious about a pioneer who normally said so little about himself and his upbringing will find many intriguing observations in this book. I read it straight through and look forward to the second volume.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In depth biography of a great teacher 27 Jun 2013
By Randy Foote - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Dick Russell has written an excellent biography of a remarkable man. The book is thick and long, and daunting at first heft - but by the end I was wishing that I could proceed immediately to the promised second volume. I highly recommend it. It is well and clearly written and moves at a good pace. Hard to put down if you have read Hillman's work and want to know the background.

I have read (and re-read) quite a few of James Hillman's works, and I was fortunate to have several conversations with him in his later years. To his last days, he was hugely interested in life and in people, and this voracious interest in life shines through the whole book. In a conversation, Hillman would go to the heart of the matter very quickly and leave me with nuggets that would keep rippling and expanding through my life. I will miss him very much, and that makes me even more grateful to have this biography.

Russell's book is both broad and intimate. Hillman had asked him to write this biography, and he gave Russell every assistance in research and in personal conversations. But clearly he made no attempt to limit what Russell could write or have access to, and the book examines both Hillman's brilliance and his indiscretions. (The indiscretions make for some of the best reading....)

Upon finishing this biography, I wanted to re-read much of Hillman's works, with the deeper understanding that I had gained of the man himself. As an example, I just read again A Terrible Love of War, his book about the unavoidable and archetypical drive in man toward War and the god Mars (Hillman being an Aries, had much Mars in himself). Reading about Hillman's working with returning disabled soldiers during World War II adds even more depth to his writing. He had a remarkable life.

If you have enjoyed or been inspired by James Hillman's writings, you will want to read Dick Russell's biography, and then begin another round of reading Hillman himself. He was a remarkable man.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb book 5 Jun 2013
By Randolph Severson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a marvellous book -- detailed, anecdotal, richly documented, elegantly written -- in every way. I found it profoundly revealing of a great man's character with whose writings I, like so many, have been enthralled for decades. James Hillman, who surely ranks with Freud, Jung and Adler and certainly is the pre-eminent psychologist of the last half century, is deftly and perceptively presented here, not only as a great psychologist, thinker, writer and visionary, but as a man far more honest, more courageous, savvy, spirited, subtle, but above all, so wounded and so very, very human than I had ever imagined or even thought possible, given his often formidable, daunting persona. I can't recommend this book too highly. It is a first class biography and a very enjoyable,fast paced, enticing read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning: may contain soul making! 23 Jun 2013
By Peter FYFE - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Join Dick Russell as he tells the first half of the story of James Hillman, a man hell bent on restoring soul's rightful place in our lives, the world... oh, and the therapy rooms of post-Jungian psychology. Through a careful mix of historical sources, letters, books, and interviews with Hillman and his friends and family, the remarkable story of this remarkable writer slowly unfolds.

As we might expect from the biography of the man who encouraged us to read our own lives backwards (in his 1996 book "The Soul's Code"), Hillman and his biographer interpret this story of a life in the terms of the soul-making world view that emerges from it. We see key moments in Hillman's life and how they influenced Hillman's thinking and awakened him to his daemon's hand. It's theory bought to life by the story of a life.

The book covers the first half of Hillman's life from its ancestral beginnings in 1926 to his departure from Zurich in 1967 under a cloud but not in one. This gives its subject time to grow down [sic!] in the boardwalk empire of Atlantic city, serve in the army, stumble around the world, land in Zurich and train as a Jungian analyst, write some books and give some lectures that upset the old guard, get himself in trouble, and emerge with the foundations of an archetypal psychology, his calling, tantalising in place but not yet fully realised.

Whether psychologist, Hillmaniac, myth maker, soul seeker, or just lover of a good story, there's something for you in this tale of a life well told. I expect you'll have trouble putting it down, as I did, and will join me in urging its author to hurry up with the sequel!

---
PS: Given the subject's love of the aesthetic, I find it ironic that the physical object of this book is so ugly: Commercially set for maximum page count and printed on nasty paper (with no acid-free assertion), compare it to the beautiful Hillman Uniform Edition... and weep.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! Fascinating! 31 May 2013
By Joern Kroll - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This epic tale, meticulously researched, sheds in-depth light not only on James Hillman's meandering unfurling and the motley Jungians in Zürich during the 50s and 60s, but functions also as a cultural analysis of the spirit of the times. Excellent! Fascinating! I can't wait for Vol. 2 (review based on audio version only).
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