I first read this when taking a counselling course; I found it remarkable that in the notoriously fractious world of Psychoanalysis, he had few detractors. This commendably brief introduction makes clear our indebtedness to Winnicott, the child of Plymouth Brethren parents (I am the Grandchild of two). Phillips is usually a writer of brio and delights in paradox; admirable then that he has eschewed this in writing plainly about a thinker of exemplary kindness and a powerful influence of the so called British School, or Object Relations theorists (for 'Objects' read 'Subjects', I for one find this clearer). Not that it is an easy read, since he is not as straightforward a writer as one supposed, something that is cleverly identified; this is a rich, articulate recapitulation of some subtlety, 'positioning' its subject as a radical rather than the benign quietist of yore. He was influenced as much by his work as a paediatrician as by Freud and Klein. He developed many key concepts especially relevant to child analysis: the 'Good-enough mother'; the True/False Self distinction and the notion of the Transitional Object. These are stimulating and useful ideas that are emblematic of a humane influence that Phillips is carrying on. For a short book this one admirably traces the development of Winnicott's ideas, especially as he veered modestly away from Freud and Melanie Klein. In fact it is clear the Phillips thinks him as subversive a thinker as Wilfred Bion, who is admired for this [I wish Adam Phillips would write a similar book about the comparably influential Bion, who is highly rated by the profession but almost unknown outside it and possibly the most underrated intellectual I have read). But that is another matter]. An indispensable guide to the ideas of a great and a good man. The sort of book Phillips, with his catholic, empirical concerns is ideally equipped to write; molto in parva indeed!