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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitter Pills and Shadows
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...
Published on 5 May 2012 by Graham Mummery

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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not easy reading...
I got this book because I wanted to read about the relationships between Jung, Freud and Spielrein before I saw the film. However, I am now 129 pages in and barely has Spielrein even been mentioned. So far all that has been discussed are the research etc by the various psychoanalysts. I have a degree in psychology and have already learnt about much of this but am still...
Published on 22 Mar 2012 by Amazon Customer


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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 (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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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. From what is shown here, she deserves mention alongside any of the greats. She influenced both Freud, and especially Jung -who discussed his ideas with her- and had her own contribution to make which continued after she had moved on from them.

She and Jung were also lovers. Kerr observes this with caution, sticking to documented fact, whilst acknowledging the limits of this method. He looks into whether the relationship was actually sexually consummated, not ignoring the ethical aspect that she had been a patient of Jung's. He is sympathetic to Jung's position when their relationship broke up, but equally sympathetic to the affect it had on her. And, if Jung's behavior was bad, a few years later she was further abused by Freud, who had become her analyst, and violated therapeutic confidentiality to try and blackmail Jung at the time of their split. Jung responded by trying to blackmail Freud over a possible affair with his sister-in law.

All in all this, is not a pretty story. We derive much psychology from the main protagonists here, and there's a lot of bad behavour, which as Kerr observes was detrimental to psychoanalysis. Only now are some of the unresolved issues being untangled. This book helps perform this service by putting this bitter squabble into proper perspective, while doing justice to both men, and perhaps more importantly giving Spielrein some of the credit she deserved.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 July 2014
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This review is from: A Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (Paperback)
An excellent read if a long read. The subject matter is not for everyone.
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11 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book, read before the film, 29 Nov 2011
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This review is from: A Dangerous Method: The Story of Jung, Freud, and Sabina Spielrein (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (Paperback)
A very good book, hate movie cover versions but originals from the 90's are very expensive and it definitely looks worth a read before the film. Good quality paper arrived in fine condition.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars heavy going, 19 April 2013
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Academic-grade writing. I loved the film, but I'd need an incentive to warrant labouring through this book. Someone's gonna invest the intellectual effort and reap a big reward, though.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not easy reading..., 22 Mar 2012
I got this book because I wanted to read about the relationships between Jung, Freud and Spielrein before I saw the film. However, I am now 129 pages in and barely has Spielrein even been mentioned. So far all that has been discussed are the research etc by the various psychoanalysts. I have a degree in psychology and have already learnt about much of this but am still finding it really heavy to read and difficult to understand. I am close to giving up on this book but may power on and see if it actually talks about what is promised on the back...
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