Handbook of Psychobiography [NOOK Book]


"This exceptionally readable and down-to-earth handbook is destined to become the definitive guide to psychobiographical research, the application of psychological theory and research to individual lives of historical importance. It brings together for the first time the world's leading psychobiographers, writing lucidly on many of the major figures of our age - from Osama Bin Laden to Elvis Presley." With its combination of telling about and showing how to practice psychobiography wisely, its inclusion of most of the field's leading
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Handbook of Psychobiography

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"This exceptionally readable and down-to-earth handbook is destined to become the definitive guide to psychobiographical research, the application of psychological theory and research to individual lives of historical importance. It brings together for the first time the world's leading psychobiographers, writing lucidly on many of the major figures of our age - from Osama Bin Laden to Elvis Presley." With its combination of telling about and showing how to practice psychobiography wisely, its inclusion of most of the field's leading practitioners, and its diversity of subjects, the Handbook of Psychobiography represents the best the field has to offer. It will define the discipline, set a course for effective future developments, and quickly emerge as a must-read for any beginning or serious psychobiographer, narrative psychologist, personologist, or personality researcher.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"William Todd Schultz's Handbook of Psychobiography is a very welcome contribution in many ways. Above all, it keeps alive the 'revolution' in understanding individual human lives that Gordon Allport, Henry Murray, and Erik Erikson launched, and it carries that 'revolution' into the post-September 11 era. One could hardly ask for more." —Lawrence J. Friedman, Visiting Professor of the History of Science, Harvard University

"An invaluable professional collection, bridging both art and science, that should do much to legitimize this whole tradition of thought that is so critical to the future of our intellectual life." —Paul Roazen, Professor Emeritus of Social and Political Science, York University in Toronto and author of On the Freud Watch: Public Memoirs

"A welcome addition to an increasing number of contributions validating the claim that narrative should be taken as the root metaphor for psychology. The various chapters reveal lives as lived, a refreshing alternative to traditional personality studies that can only satisfy the researcher's appetite for large numbers of subjects, in the process sacrificing any claim to depth of understanding." —Theodore R. Sarbin, Emeritus Professor of Psychology and Criminology, University of California-Santa Cruz

"Drawing on leading contributors to psychobiography, Professor Schultz has created a handbook that defines and advances the state of the art and applied science. It tells the reader how to do it, and maybe more importantly, how not to do it, and it illustrates psychobiography at its best, illuminating the lives of notable artists, psychologists, and political figures. It is a solid contribution to the idiographic and holistic study of personality. It would make an excellent text for advanced undergraduates or graduates. And, unusual for a handbook, it is just a very good read." —M. Brewster, Professor Emeritus, University of California-Santa Cruz

"Disciplined psychobiographical studies are finding a place within the scientifically respectable main currents of personality psychology. This book, which brings together methodological and substantive contributions by the major scholars who do psychobiography studies, should set the standard for the field. Fortified with the advice and examples from this Handbook, personality psychologists and others interested in deeper interpretations of significant contemporary and historical gures will be encouraged and emboldened." —David Winter, Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan

"A definitive, rewarding, clearly written collection, essential for students and professional alike interested in personality and biography or the application of psychological theory to life-stories." —Bertram J. Cohler, William Rainy Harper Professor, The University of Chicago

"The book certainly deserves the designation 'handbook' because it not only provides sections on methodology and content but also blends the two to illustrate critical points about the field...This volume should see wide use."—CHOICE

"This is a landmark book. All the major living psychobiographers are represented here as chapter authors... This Handbook, more than any other singular contribution, will move psychobiography forward."—PsycCRITIQUES

"All academic libraries worth their name should immediately add the Handbook of Psychobiography to their collection. It is a useful text for both student and advanced practitioners. Anyone doing psychobiographical work should have the Handbook close by at all times—it is that good."—Henry Lawton, Clio's Psyche

"As befits a 'handbook,' its coverage is broad and diverse....All historians of psychology are likely to find something of interest in the five insightful psychobiographical sketches of individual psychologists... [Alan] Elm's chapter well reflects the overall message of this handbook writ small: Psychobiography offers a fascinating and enormously promising approach to both psychology and history."—Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences

"A rich smorgasbord of biographies, as well as of methodologies...Schultz's Handbook of Psychobiography is a collection of essays significantly advancing our knowledge of the discipline...It can also be read with great value by biographers, clinicians, historians, journalists, political psychologists, psychohistorians, and scholars from many other disciplines."—Paul Elovitz, Journal of Psychohistory

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198037606
  • Publisher: NetLibrary, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/7/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Pacific University, Oregon
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introducing psychobiography 3
Ch. 2 Evolving conceptions of psychobiography and the study of lives : encounters with psychoanalysis, personality psychology, and historical science 19
Ch. 3 How to strike psychological pay dirt in biographical data 42
Ch. 4 What psychobiographers might learn from personality psychology 64
Ch. 5 If the glove fits : the art of theoretical choice in psychobiography 84
Ch. 6 How to critically evaluate alternative explanations of life events : the case of van Gogh's ear 96
Ch. 7 Divide and multiply : comparative theory and methodology in multiple case psychobiography 104
Ch. 8 Diane Arbus's photographic autobiography : theory and method revisited 112
Ch. 9 Nothing alive can be calculated : the psychobiographical study of artists 135
Ch. 10 Twelve ways to say "lonesome" : assessing error and control in the music of Elvis Presley 142
Ch. 11 Mourning, melancholia, and Sylvia Plath 158
Ch. 12 Margaret's smile 175
Ch. 13 Edith Wharton and Ethan Frome : a psychobiographical exploration 188
Ch. 14 The psychobiographical study of psychologists 203
Ch. 15 Freud as Leonardo : why the first psychobiography went wrong 210
Ch. 16 Four, two, or one? : Gordon Allport and the unique personality 223
Ch. 17 Nietzsche's madness 240
Ch. 18 Erikson and psychobiography, psychobiography and Erikson 265
Ch. 19 From the book of Mormon to the operational definition : the existential project of S. S. Stevens 285
Ch. 20 Alive and kicking : the problematics of political psychobiography 301
Ch. 21 Osama bin Laden : the sum of all fears 311
Ch. 22 In his father's shadow : George W. Bush and the politics of personal transformation 323
Ch. 23 Hunting the snark : methodological considerations in studying elusive politicians 344
Ch. 24 Psychobiography in context : predicting the behavior of tyrants 357
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Customer Reviews

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