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Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis
     

Freud's Wizard: Ernest Jones and the Transformation of Psychoanalysis

by Brenda Maddox
 

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The saturation of the English-speaking world with psychoanalytic concepts was due largely to one brilliant analyst, Ernest Jones. As Freud's disciple, colleague, and biographer-and the man who rescued Freud from the Nazis-he led the international psychoanalytic movement, shifting its vortex from Vienna to London and spreading its influence to Toronto, New York

Overview


The saturation of the English-speaking world with psychoanalytic concepts was due largely to one brilliant analyst, Ernest Jones. As Freud's disciple, colleague, and biographer-and the man who rescued Freud from the Nazis-he led the international psychoanalytic movement, shifting its vortex from Vienna to London and spreading its influence to Toronto, New York, and Boston. While negotiating the ferocious politics of the movement, Jones also managed an imposing series of liaisons, including an heiress and her maid, analysands, and a “Druid Bride.” Unlike Freud, he never had to wonder, “What do women want?”

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Science Communication
“[An] entertaining and rich biography…[Maddox] faithfully directs the reader to well-researched resources…Readable, at times very humorous, and certainly thought provoking.”

SciTech Book News, 12/08
“Maddox leaves the warts on Jones and everyone around him, and she fully reports the details of where their feuds took them.”

American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2009
“[A] superb biography…Adds a long-overdue chapter to the story of psychoanalysis and an unanticipated perspective on its ascendancy…Will delight and inform even those with extensive prior reading in the history of psychoanalysis.”

Financial Times
[An] enjoyable and sympathetic biography.
Sunday Times (U.K.)
[Maddox] tells a complicated story with brio and an eye for lively detail. Written enthusiastically.
New York Sun
Re-centered the enterprise of biography, broadening and deepening its reach into the panoply of personalities.
Deseret News
Maddox is expert in discovering the 'number two' people who play a much more important role than seems evident.
Globe and Mail
Provides a credible, even moving portrait without claiming to settle the questions that linger.
Bookforum
[An] excellent biography.

Oregonian
Engrossing . . . A fascinating account of the intrigue within Freud's entourage . . . A rich account.

Publishers Weekly

In writing the life of the man who established psychoanalysis in Britain, veteran biographer Maddox (Nora: The Real Molly Bloom) gives an equally fascinating (if more familiar) picture of the early world of psychoanalysis, with its conflicting egos and theoretical battles, particularly between strict Freudians and the followers of Melanie Klein, which fiercely divided the English psychoanalytic society founded and ruled over by Ernest Jones. Maddox frames Jones's life as the story of a man whose enormous gifts finally allowed him to triumph over early disgrace. A Welshman who'd shown brilliance as a medical student, Jones (1879–1958) had to leave England in 1908 after accusations of sexual impropriety while examining several youngsters; Maddox finds the evidence in one case "damning." But Jones returned two years later to practice psychoanalysis and advocate tirelessly for it, soon becoming a member of Freud's inner circle. While one wishes for a bit more insight, Maddox wisely refrains from psychoanalyzing Jones, who took full advantage of his ability to mesmerize women before finally settling into a happy marriage, and his alternately affectionate and irritable relationship with his mentor (Jones at one point accused Freud's daughter, Anna, of being "insufficiently analyzed"; Freud in turn called Jones a lying Welshman). Perhaps Jones's greatest moment was in saving Freud and many other Jewish psychoanalysts from the Nazis. Maddox adds an important chapter to the history of psychoanalysis in this balanced and skillful biography. (Mar. 19)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Revealing analysis of the man who made the work of Sigmund Freud accessible to readers in English. Ernest Jones, suggests seasoned biographer Maddox (Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, 2002, etc.), was fortunate to have found psychoanalysis; otherwise, he might have remained a Harlow Street surgeon or doctor, for which he had a good mind but no real inclination. He may also have found it easier to disguise himself in the arcana of analysis, for very early in his medical career he was charged with behaving indecently toward mentally handicapped adolescent patients. He was acquitted, but his life, by Maddox's account, was dogged by unseemly and strange incidents, possibly even criminal ones. One such mystery was the death of his first wife, without the benefit of autopsy; Maddox notes that Jones's explanation that "a wartime diet low in sugar had made his wife susceptible to chloroform poisoning" is unconvincing, adding that even Freud himself sensed that something was amiss. Jones had by this time been Freud's champion and representative for several years, first among a group of peers who deemed themselves "paladins" defending the true church of Freud against its many critics. The knightly circle soon collapsed through infighting, and Jones's own politicking had its role in what would be a Hobbesian war within the psychoanalytic profession; still, Freud recognized the value Jones brought as one of the few non-Jewish members of his inner circle. Nonetheless, with the rise of Nazism, all forms of Freudian thought were tarred as non-Aryan perversions, and it was Jones-who, among other things, introduced terms such as id, cathexis and repression into English-who rescued Freud from NaziVienna, at considerable personal risk. Readers with an interest in the history of science-and with a taste for the dark side of scholarship-will find this irresistible.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780306815553
Publisher:
Da Capo Press
Publication date:
03/12/2007
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet the Author


Brenda Maddox, author of Nora: The Real Life of Molly Bloom, and Rosalind Franklin: Dark Lady of DNA, winner of the Los Angeles Times Biography Award, grew up in Massachusetts and lives in London.

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