Freud: A Life for Our Time

Peter Gay, Author W. W. Norton & Company $30 (810p) ISBN 978-0-393-02517-0
Gay's engrossing portrait of Freud is unconventional, at times startling. We see how a doting, domineering mother equipped young Sigmund for a life of intrepid investigation. We follow the ambitious medical student's long, sexually starved courtship of Martha Bernays, a romance that, according to Gay, influenced his theories about the sexual roots of mental ailments. Freud continually analyzed his own unresolved conflicts, blaming his fainting spells on unconscious homosexual urges. Though he preached that the psychoanalyst should be detached during therapy sessions, he bent and even broke his own rules, returning fees to patients who fell on hard times and making friends with his favorite analysands. Perhaps no biographer has succeeded as well as Gay in linking Freud's life to his writings and his times. In this magisterial biography by the eminent cultural historian (The Bourgeois Experience, etc.), Freud's greatness and his flaws flow out of the same stubborn, obsessive quest for truth. Photos not seen by PW. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Paperback - 810 pages - 978-0-393-31826-5
Open Ebook - 864 pages - 978-0-393-07234-1
Paperback - 978-0-385-26256-9
Paperback - 810 pages - 978-0-393-32861-5
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