The Freud Files: An Inquiry into the History of Psychoanalysis

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 24, 2011 - Psychology - 450 pages
How did psychoanalysis attain its prominent cultural position? How did it eclipse rival psychologies and psychotherapies, such that it became natural to bracket Freud with Copernicus and Darwin? Why did Freud 'triumph' to such a degree that we hardly remember his rivals? This book reconstructs the early controversies around psychoanalysis and shows that rather than demonstrating its superiority, Freud and his followers rescripted history. This legend-making was not an incidental addition to psychoanalytic theory but formed its core. Letting the primary material speak for itself, this history demonstrates the extraordinary apparatus by which this would-be science of psychoanalysis installed itself in contemporary societies. Beyond psychoanalysis, it opens up the history of the constitution of the modern psychological sciences and psychotherapies, how they furnished the ideas which we have of ourselves and how these became solidified into indisputable 'facts'.

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About the author (2011)

Professor Sonu Shamdasani is a historian of psychology and psychiatry and is widely regarded as the leading Jung historian at work today. His numerous publications have been translated into many languages and his last edited book, Jung's Red Book (2009) was on The New York Times bestseller list and a documentary is currently being prepared on the subject.

Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen is Professor of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. He is the author of highly influential books on the theory and history of psychoanalysis and co-author of the bestselling Le livre noir de la psychanalyse (The Black Book of Psychoanalysis).

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