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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best life of Jung, 25 Oct 2009
By 
D. F. Bailey ""thebail"" (Heswall UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jung: A Biography (Paperback)
Deirdre Bair has written the best life of Jung by a huge margin. She is balanced where others are hostile or adulatory. She is clear and understandable on the history of psychology, the break with Freud and Jung's own work, all of which she weaves seamlessly into the story of Jung's life.She is authoritative on Jung's strengths and his weaknesses and importantly is as fair to Freud as to Jung.
This is the book to read if you want to really understand a complex man, his work and his times.

On a personal note, she is also the only biographer who has provided credible answers to how an ordinary Englishwoman, Ruth Bailey met Jung by chance in 1925 and remained close to him and all his family for the next four decades. She was even asked to look after Jung after his wife died. All other biographies have tended to pass over Ruth Bailey as housekeeper and companion. Deirdre Bair provides extensive coverage of Ruth Bailey and her contribution.Ruth Bailey was my Great Aunt and in 1957 I went with my family to see her and meet Jung in his lakeside home near Zurich.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thorough, thoughtful, worth it, 5 April 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Jung: A Biography (Hardcover)
I came to this book without any pre-conceptions, probably unlike most readers who are well-versed already in the work of Jung. As an Anglophone who lives in Zürich and, therefore, surrounded by the haunts of Jung, I was fascinated with his story. Happily, despite my ignorance, I found this book entirely satisfying. The level of detail is impressive from a scholastic viewpoint, and the book is impressive from an emotional viewpoint. No, Jung didn't have a straightforward domestic life, but he had great insight into man and the great beyond. I'm definitely not a "disciple" but I still found this book of immense interest. Like another reviewer, I was unable to put down this book.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable!, 28 Dec 2003
By 
Gottfried Heuer (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jung: A Biography (Hardcover)
Never before has there been such a detailed and meticulously well researched biography of C.G. Jung. The author is to be congratulated for the wealth of hitherto unknown details she has been able to unearth - due, in part, to having been granted extensive access to personal materials still guarded by Jung's heirs. But also an amazing number of different sources have been discovered and consulted. In a balanced way Bair presents "Jung, warts and all" by spreading out before the reader all the material currently available. For years to come this will remain THE definitive biography Jung, THE indispensible reference work for professionals and lay persons alike!
Gottfried Heuer,
Jungian Psychoanalyst
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5.0 out of 5 stars Jung the Man, the Scientist and the Visionary, 17 Dec 2011
By 
Normand Hamel "Normand Hamel" (Brownsburg-Chatham, Québec) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jung: A Biography (Hardcover)
When I started reading this book I knew immediately that I was holding a masterpiece in my hands. And by the time I finished it I had an inner conviction that this would become the reference for anyone wanting to conduct serious research into the life of Carl Jung. In short it is what we call a definitive biography.

Bair's account is a scholarly investigation of the life of one of the most influential figures of the twentieth century. It is an amazing undertaking that was conducted with unquestionable objectivity and neutrality. What transpires from this very honest rendering is the respect the author has for her subject. Along with a genuine effort to remain impartial, one can also detect a light touch of admiration for the genius of Carl Jung. Most biographies of Jung have a tendency to portray him as either a saint or a demon, depending on the author's bias. Some undertakings are more balanced than others, but they all display a degree of partiality. Except perhaps this one. That is what sets this biography apart and puts it in a class by itself. It remains consistently factual and avoids being judgemental. Occasionally the author will offer a subjective appreciation of a particular episode in the life of Carl Jung, but only if the assessment would be obvious and indisputable. Yet, the humanity of CGJ is present everywhere, which gives authenticity to the analysis. The overall balance that Bair has maintained throughout is quite impressive.

This is a very formal biography, so if you were expecting a philosophical dissertation, or wanted to know more about Jung the mystic, you may have to look elsewhere. That being said, I have to mention that the religious sense, which was Jung's driving force throughout his life, did not go unnoticed by Bair. And the depth of his psychology did not escape her either. But the obvious raison d'être and principal motive behind this enterprise was to research the archives and carry out relevant interviews with key people that were close to CJ, in order to ascertain as much as is humanly possible the reality of Carl Jung the man, the scientist and the visionary. The author's conclusions should put an end to the speculations, allusions and insinuations that Jung has been subjected to in his lifetime and which continued after his death. For Bair verified thoroughly, and with the highest professional standards, everything she had access to. The results of her investigation have indeed confirmed some of the allegations, but many others were found to be unsubstantiated.

I read its 850 pages (including 200 pages of notes) with a continually renewed admiration for the intellectual rigour displayed by the author. And I realize that what has been achieved here could not be repeated, for among the people who have known or worked with Jung very few are still alive today. But most fortunately for us the precious testimonies of several key witnesses have been recorded and secured for future generations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fair picture of the man, 13 Jun 2011
By 
a23 (Greenock) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jung: A Biography (Hardcover)
Jung is a challenging subject to write about - an individual that splits public and professional opinion and no shortage of acolytes or assassins wanting to whet their own particular angles, plus ongoing and fierce protection of many of his notebooks/archives etc by his family. I've read several other biographies, including Jung's Memories, Dreams, Recollections and found this work immensely engaging and thorough. I felt I was presented with a vivd picture of Jung with good explanations of the origins and development of his key ideas, the challenges he encountered (or created) with his professional peers and his personal life. It's not always an attractive picture that emerges, but it does seem fair and balanced. I'd say this is probably the one book you should read if you have a thirst for knowledge about the man (i'd recommend Anthony Stevens "On Jung" if it's his professional theories that interest you)
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Jung: A Biography by Deirdre Bair (Hardcover - Nov 2003)
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