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Freud's Wizard: The Enigma of Ernest Jones Paperback – 20 Sep 2007

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Product Description


'Brenda Maddox tells Ernest Jones's story with economy and verve, mixing relevant details of his personal life with brilliant insights into the history of psychoanalysis' (Andrew Lycett, Literary Review)

'Brenda Maddox has a gift for tangential approaches. She hits on an angle that has been missed, or she unearths a minor figure who leaps to life irresistible as she writes. She has done it again with Ernest Jones, Freud's disciple and biographer... Maddox pulls no punches in dealing with either the wizard or his master, and she kept me entertained from start to finish with the very odd story she has to tell' (Claire Tomalin, Guardian)

'Maddox's lesson of [Jones'] useful, compromised life is an object lesson in biographical advocacy. She speaks well for the slippery Jones, and makes me wish I had met him' (Norman Lebrecht)

'Our best biographer of the ones that got away, has uncovered another brilliant subject' (Norman LeBrecht, Evening Standard)

'The "dark inconsistencies" of Jones's sexuality perplexed Freud, who did not have the benefit of this biography to aid his understanding of a quirkily quixotic intellectual and emotional adventure.' (Iain Finlayson, The Times)

'A good introduction to the turbulent and often strange beginnings of psychoanalysis' (Hanif Kureishi, The Observer)

Book Description

From an award-winning biographer, the remarkable story of the founder of British pschyoanalysis, Freud's right hand man

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AURTHOR-JAMES E GOGGIN 18 Aug. 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On Politics and Power in Freud's Inner Circle 3 Jun. 2007
By Shrink Rap - Published on
Format: Hardcover
For those interested in the history of psychoanalysis in general and Freud's inner circle in particular, Freud's Wizard is a laudable contribution to the literature. It manages to be scholarly in its attention to historical detail while at the same time, readable for the interested layperson who is not steeped in knowledge of psychoanalysis. It will especially appeal to practicing analysts and those of a psychodynamic orientation. How Ernest Jones develops his interest in Freud's new theories, joins his inner circle, and his tireless efforts in promoting both the "cause" and his own career are smoothly presented by biographer Maddox.

Despite her admitted admiration for Jones, Maddox fairly presents Jones's character weaknesses as well as his strengths. She doesn't shy away from facing some of the questionable moral indiscretions in Jones's life-both personally and professionally- nor does she paint an overly positive portrait of his motivations in dealing with colleagues, Freud, or the numerous women in his life.

As might be expected, the most interesting sections have to do with the interactions through letter and personal meetings with Freud himself and the other eminent members of Freud's inner circle. We see how a very short man who worries about overcoming his common name becomes a "true believer" in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis and is able to make a distinguished life for himself on the heels of one of the giants of his time.

Jones appears to have been the right person at the right time, attaching himself to Freud and becoming, as he liked to boast, "the pre-eminent psychoanalyst in the English-speaking world." His strong personal presence, intellectual and administrative abilities, skill at political in-fighting, and faithfulness to Freud all made him, if not a "wizard," at least an indispensable right-hand man who stayed true to his master until the end. If nothing else, we owe Jones a debt of gratitude for his courageous act of personally orchestrating the immigration of Freud and his entourage out of Vienna during the Nazi take-over and his crowning achievement of his three volume biography of Freud.

I enjoyed reading this biography, learning a good deal more about Ernest Jones than I had known, and came away with a sharper appreciation for his place in the pantheon of central early psychoanalytic figures.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for any college-level or general-interest collection 8 July 2007
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Format: Hardcover
FREUD'S WIZARD: ERNEST JONES AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF PSYCHOANALYSIS discusses Freud's disciple and colleague who brought the international psychoanalytic movement to London and fostered its spread to the U.S. With so many books considering both Freud's life and theory, it's satisfying to find an adjunct which details a contemporary who had a dramatic impact both on Freud's personal life and in the promotion of his theories. FREUD'S WIZARD is essential for any college-level or general-interest collection that already houses biographies and discussions of Freud: it considers the history and evolution of early psychoanalysis and the man who vastly contributed to Freud's theory's promotion.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars [Alfred] Ernest Jones introduced Freud's psychoanalysis to North America where ... 3 Dec. 2014
By David H. Cook, Ph.D. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
[Alfred] Ernest Jones introduced Freud's psychoanalysis to North America where the technique grew. Jones was trained in neurology and just happened to encounter one of Freud's writings. At the time Freud was the target of criticism given his focus on the libido, Freud's theory of motivation being the result of the libido (aka sex drive) being sublimated. Jones, with a very mature exposure to sex in his youth, championed Freud's work with drives, beginning with the ejection of Carl Jung from Freud's inner circle as engineered by Jones, and with Jung's dilution of libido the single issue. On the surface this book covers the details of Jones' life. More important, it details conviction with respect to controversial issues about the fundamentals of being human, something that the poets over the centuries talked around but never about. Jones pinnacle was a paper that he read before the American Psychology Association on December 29, 1911, in which he commented on the education of our youth about sex - "once we stop doing wrong, maybe then we can do right".
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