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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intellect of Many Layers, 20 Sep 2012
By 
Graham Mummery (Sevenoaks, Kent England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Paperback)
Carl Jung was a man of many layers. This book is a look at the intellectual influences on the man, and the roots of his thinking. At the very start of this book Sonu Shamdasani gives a list of of things Jung has been called, many of them contradictory including Scientist, Prophet, Charlatan, Philosopher and many others. This book, with an admirable scholarly thoroughness takes a look at some of the many paths of learning that Jung took in his life.

In exploring this, Shamdasani looks at documentary evidence, some of which still remains unpublished including letters and manuscripts, from which he quotes extensively, sometimes doing his own translations from German. From it emerges whole areas that have been unexplored, or unmentioned. For example, it's often said that Jung was a "pupil of Freud." Shamdasani points out that this is not the case. Indeed he suggests that the influence of Freud is sometimes overstated, and shows other influences and relationships were just as important including William James, Theodore Flournoy and Pierre Janet.

One of the problems when reading Jung's works can be the overwhelming number of references. Shamdasani charts a great many of these including anthropology, biology, philosophy as well of psychology which he points out is itself a nebulous subject and remains to this day divided. The one area he does not explore is alchemy, which is a pity as this is an important area that influenced Jung's later thinking.

Inevitably with the amount of all this, makes for the need for a many references in this book. This in itself makes for some of the same problems with reading Jung himself. Yet what emerges through this forest is a deeper picture of what influenced his thinking, and how some of the ideas we think we know came about, and their relationship to psychology and its intellectual history.

At the end, Shamdasani suggests in attempting to synthesize so much, Jung possibly failed in the creation of a comprehensive psychology. Perhaps nobody will ever do this. But in this work, Shamdasni throws new light of the subject and its history as well as the place Jung occupies in it. Having also been the editor of Jung's The Red Book: Liber Novus, Shamdasani is revolutionizing study of Jung, and this book is also a part of the process. I suspect, there is a lot more to come. Perhaps in the end he will produce the definitive biography which still has to be writen. But in the meantime, we are getting some fascinating glimpses of an astonishing mind.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meet a man you thought you knew..., 24 Nov 2004
By 
Peter FYFE (Erskineville, Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Paperback)
Shamdasani's "cubist history" of Jung's core projects places them in their historical and intellectual context. His meticulous research incorporates an extensive review of the writing of Jung's contemporaries, Jung's own papers, Jungian commentary, and even some of Jung's personal marginalia. The scholarship alone is staggering.
Be warned: this is no anecdotal hagiography for the converted but a serious exploration of the man and his thinking. Shamdasani's style takes no prisoners. If you are heavily invested in Jungian ideas, or those allegedly attributed to Jung, you may discover the intellectual rug pulled out from under you without ceremony. Brace yourself.
But do engage, as I dared to. By his apparent scepticism of all psychologies and patent love of opening once tightly sealed black boxes, Shamdasani allows you to re-discover Jung and marvel at the unparalleled breadth and depth of the work of one of our great minds. If you square up and look this author and his subject in the eye, I'd be surprised if you are not profoundly shaken or at least significantly stirred, as I have been.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great research, not an intro, a research resource, 19 May 2013
This review is from: Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Paperback)
reading this book you realize how poorly researched much of the material on jung is.
this book is not really a _book_ so far as it is a copious collection of research notes with a thin veil of text holding it all together.

i think this is a good and needed thing, although the buyer should know what he is getting.

also, before i read the book i had heard that shamdasani was very pro-jung - he is - but i was glad to see a good measure of objectivity in his stance towards, and handling of, jung. the books on jung out there - both hostile and friendly - are sorely lacking in objectivity
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and methodical scholarship that dissects the corpus of Jung's theories, 28 Jan 2012
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This review is from: Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science (Paperback)
The previous review does not really need adding to. Having recently read Sonu Shamdasani's book on Jung I was staggered by the authors meticulous and thorough research. As the previous review states...if you thought you had read Jung, know Jung's work, theories and ideas or most importantly presume to work as a therapist influenced by Jung's ideas...you don't know much until you have read Shamdasani's evaluation of Jung's work. The author does a fine job of rather surgically slicing through the layers of Jung's thought whilst revealing the many direct influences on his thinking and the context in which his ideas were developed and formulated. As a for of intellectual and academic vivisection it is unrelenting and unsurpassed. Strangely, Shamdasani has been a particularly vociferious critic of Richard Noll's critique of Jung in 'The Jung Cult'...Shamdasani has been more nuanced, neutral and sophisticated in his exploration of Jung's key concepts, whether dreams, libido, individuation, archetypes, but much more devastating.
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Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science
Jung and the Making of Modern Psychology: The Dream of a Science by Sonu Shamdasani (Paperback - 11 Dec 2003)
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