The Young Freud

Billa Zanuso, Author Blackwell Publishers $19.95 (202p) ISBN 978-0-631-13749-8
While this study by an Italian psychoanalyst does not fully live up to its subtitle, it adds new details to the familiar story of how Freud, the bourgeois but inwardly rebellious physician, nurtured his theories of the unconscious in the cultural seedbed of a Vienna in decline. Freud's assertion that humans harbor sexual and aggressive impulses from birth shattered the middle-class Austrian family's sense of decorum and the image of childhood innocence. The author portrays the conventional, newly married Freud as possessive to the point of absurdity, intolerant of orthodox Jewish rites. She explains why he gradually abandoned such techniques as hypnosis and the gentle pressing of his fingers on the patient's forehead to stimulate free association. Freud's abandonment of the theory of infantile sexual trauma is here defended as a logical progression in his thought, in contrast to recent books on the subject that claim he had evidence of the phenomenon but suppressed it. (December)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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