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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis by Eli Zaretsky (Alfred A. Knopf) Freud and his followers dominated American psychiatry after World War II. By the 1970s, they fell out of fashion. What happened? How could a man whose writings and personal magnetism "permanently transformed the ways in which ordinary men and women throughout the world understand themselves" have left behind "a pseudoscience whose survival is now very much in doubt?"

That is the question the historian Eli Zaretsky asks in Secrets of the Soul. Many psychiatrists and therapists would argue that Freud has not sunk quite as low as Zaretsky suggests, that psychodynamic therapy, derived from psychoanalysis, helps many people. (If you're quiet, you can hear the therapists bristling at "pseudoscience.") But while Einstein, Edison and Henry Ford, to name a few of his contemporaries, have endured as iconic figures, Freud has fallen far from the intellectual pinnacle on which he stood a hundred years ago.

Zaretsky's explanation has to do with the way Freud's ideas became intertwined in society, culture and, most important, economics. As society changed during the economic upheavals of the past century, Freud's place in it changed, too. If, to paraphrase Harold Bloom, Shakespeare invented what it means to be human, Freud invented what it means to be an individual in an industrialized, mass-produced world. Before Freud, life and work centered on the family. But the industrial revolution took work out of the family and, for the first time, gave people an identity separate from that of their families. Freud helped us understand those new identities, Zaretsky says, in a way that both eased the transition and sowed the seeds of revolt.

Freud's ideas were crucial for the success of what Zaretsky calls the second industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution was the transition from factory to farm. The second was from factory to vertically integrated corporation, typified by the Ford Motor Company, which forged its own steel, grew its own rubber trees and controlled the whole chain of production, right down to the dealers who sold Fords in any color you wanted, as long as it was black.

Ford and his imitators had to create demand for the products they could now produce so efficiently, and Freud's consumer was exactly what they needed: The individual was seen as "infinitely desiring, rather than capable of satisfaction," Zaretsky writes, "an image that was indispensable to the growth of mass consumption."

But Freud and his utopian followers, including Wilhelm Reich, Herbert Marcuse and Norman O. Brown, also helped spark the countercultural revolution of the 1960s, with its challenge to industrial society. As Zaretsky points out, psychoanalysis rejected the "suffocating conformity" of the family, encouraged "authenticity, expressive freedom, and play" and led student activists to conclude that work should be satisfying, not merely a way to make a living. Eventually, when that movement collapsed, Freud was taken down, too. A more experimental, drug-oriented approach to therapy began to displace psychoanalysis, and managed care's restrictions on treatment delivered the fatal blow.

This is only a sampling of the issues that Zaretsky discusses in this expansive, authoritative work. He charts the many shifts in Freud's thinking over the course of his long creative life. He recounts the ways in which psychoanalysis spread from Vienna, across Europe, to the United States and around the world. Zaretsky also sorts out the complex web of friendships, schisms and rivalries that enveloped Freud and his disciples, continuing after Freud's death in 1939.

Perhaps because it is so ambitious, Zaretsky's book is also challenging and difficult at times. Dedicated readers will find their efforts rewarded; those who don't already have some familiarity with the basic tenets of psychoanalysis might have more trouble.

But then, as Zaretsky demonstrates, we all have some familiarity with Freud, whether we've read him or not. Freud and his followers "introduced or redefined such words as 'oral,' 'anal,' 'phallic,' 'genital,' 'unconscious,' 'psyche,' 'drives,' 'conflict,' 'neurosis,' 'hysterical,' 'father complex,' 'inferiority complex,' 'ego-ideal,' 'narcissist,' 'exhibitionist,' 'inhibition,' 'ego,' 'id,' and 'superego.' " Freud left us with the indelible understanding that we each have an inner world, and that it binds us to the social and political world in which we live. Zaretsky does an admirable job of showing us how he did it. Reviewed by Paul Raeburn  Copyright 2004, The Washington Post Co. All Rights Reserved.

Evolving Perspectives on the History of Psychology edited by Wade E. Pickren, Donald A. Dewsbury (American Psychological Association) Brings together important historical writing published in APA journals over the past quarter century. Includes several seminal papers from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as more recent examples of the finest work in the genre. Underscores the importance of social and cultural history in the shaping and development of psychology.

Excerpt: This volume contains 27 chapters presented in seven sections. In Part I, we provide the reader with an introduction to historical methodology historiography. Students in courses in the history of psychology often have no sense of how the methods of history differ from the methods of psychological research. Without at least a rudimentary grasp of these principles, students will not understand the basic premises or conclusions of the scholarship that follows. Failure to provide such an introduction would be comparable to neglecting to inform students in a course on basic learning theory about the research methods used to study learning.

The discipline of psychology emerged in a particular social and cultural context. It did not simply appear on the intellectual and institutional scene full‑blown. To succeed, psychologists had to address critical issues of methodology, organization, and public relations and be able to differentiate their practices from those of neighboring approaches (e.g., philosophy, physiology, and psychical research). How were psychologists able to successfully find a niche for themselves in American scientific and professional life? What were their struggles, and with whom did they compete? In Part II, six chapters together offer substantive insight into how psychologists responded to these challenges.

The next three sections present historical scholarship focused on various aspects of psychological science and practice. The selection is meant to be representative, because a complete range of research and practice cannot be included due to space limitations. Learning theories have informed and guided much of 20th‑century research in psychology. Ivan P Pavlov (1849‑1936), John B. Watson (1878‑1958), and B. E Skinner (1904‑1990) remain important figures for psychologists today. The chapters in Part III offer historical insight into their lives and work.

Part IV offers examples of historical scholarship on psychology as a social and behavioral science. The three areas represented here are developmental psychology, psychometrics, and personality psychology. Although each of these areas would benefit from further historical research, these chapters indicate the rich potential of understanding psychology as a human science.

The period between the two world wars was one of great change and increasing social anxiety. Psychology in this period also experienced significant change. Standard textbook histories typically present the period as dominated by neobehaviorism and fail to address the heterogeneity of the discipline and the emerging professional practice of psychology. In Part V, four chapters illustrate psychology and psychologists in this period. The chapters provide nuanced histories that address issues of status, both personal and professional, among psychologists and their organizations, and we should note that the impact of the Great Depression on psychologists is an important text or subtext in these histories. The question of cultural style and its influence on psychological science is also addressed.

After World War ll, clinical psychology emerged as the central professional practice of psychology and reshaped the public perception of the psychologist into that of a mental health professional. Of course, these changes have a historical context and have not gone undisputed within psychology. Psychoanalysis, although disparaged by many psychological scientists, proved to be an initially rich resource for the conceptualization and treatment of psychological disorders. The three chapters in Part VI provide a window into the development of clinical psychology and some of the controversy provoked by that development.

Since the late 1980s, the APA has had an entire directorate devoted to psychology in the public interest. Yet, American psychologists have a long history of interest in and devotion to social issues and causes. In Part VII are four representative examples of the history of psychology in the public interest: the moral project of psychology as represented by four psychologists' utopias; the struggle of women to find a place at the table of psychological science; the problem of anti‑Semitism among psychologists until World War II; and a fresh perspective on Kenneth B. Clark, the only African American to ever serve as APA's president.

We envision various uses for this book. Most standard textbooks in the history of psychology present the accepted canon, or grand narrative, of the progress of psychological thought from philosophers to physiologists, to Wilhelm Wundt (1832‑1920) and William James (1842‑1910), the socalled schools of psychology, and post‑World War II transformations of the field. There is much of value in this approach. However, recent scholars have pointed out that this oversimplifies the process and leaves much out. This has implications for the manner in which courses are taught and has resulted in some teachers of courses in history of psychology avoiding the use of textbooks in the course. This volume should prove useful to such instructors in organizing material and providing some structure without the constraints of traditional textbooks.

Other instructors feel responsible for making their students familiar with the prominent people and events in the field as portrayed in textbooks, although they recognize the constructed nature of this canon and want to enrich their courses to reveal for their students a hint of the complexity that exists at a deeper level. The present volume should be a useful supplement for such instructors. Of course, there are many instructors who are happy with standard textbooks but may want to enrich their own lectures or provide additional readings for students; this volume should be useful to them as well. Finally, we hope that there are readers with an intrinsic interest in the history of the field who will find pleasure and enlightenment in some of the best historical scholarship of recent years, even though they may have no courses about which to worry.

This volume is offered in the belief that the history of psychology is itself a viable and veridical way to understand psychological processes and phenomena. German philosopher‑historian Wilhelm Dilthey (18331911) perhaps put it best a little over a century ago: "The totality of human nature is only to be found in history; the individual can only become conscious of it and enjoy it when he assembles the mind of the past within himself" (1976, p. 176).


edited by Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Helmut E. Luck, Rudolf Miller, and Charles E. Early

Editions Q (Quintessence Publishing)

$38.95, sewn paper, bibliographies, indexes, B&W illustrations throughout



This history is superior in the number of topics covered and the diversity and number of illustrations, and the number and professional standing of the authors who have contributed to the articles. The combination of pictorial and verbal snapshots in this book has the character of a family album of academic psychology. It makes the discipline human in ways a more abstract approach cannot. As a one volume reference it is superb. Any serious reader will find some information on topics not covered in many other reference books.

By Rudolf Arnheim
Preface to the German Edition
By Helmut E. Luck, Rudolf Miller
Aristotle and Psychology
By Daniel N. Robinson
The Inner Senses: A Medieval Theory of Cognitive Functioning in the Ventricles of the Brain
By Simon Kemp
Psychologia, "actual symbol not reproducible" Psychology
By Gustav A. Ungerer, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Christian Thomasius: A Man Ahead of His Time
By Paul McReynolds
The Witchcraze in 17th-Century Europe
By Charles W. Clark
Physiognomy, Phrenology, and Non-Verbal Communication
By Jurgen Jahnke
Goethe as an Early Behavior Therapist
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Ursula Voss, William D. G. Balance
An 18th-Century Baby Biography
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Pegge Hewett, Gustav A. Ungerer
Gnothi Sauton: The Journal of Experiential Psychology
By Jurgen Jahnke
Johannes Muller and the Principle of Sensory Metamorphosis
By Herbert Fitzek
Charles Darwin and Psychology
By Joseph F. Fitzpatrick, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Galton's Hat and the Invention of Intelligence Tests
By Raymond E. Fancher
Metaphors of Memory: The Case of Photography
By Douwe Draaisma
Brentano: Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint
By Elisabeth Baumgartner, Wilhelm Baumgartner
William James: America's Premier Psychologist
By Klaus Jurgen Bruder
By Eberhard Bauer
Clever Hans: Fact or Fiction?
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Johannes Abresch
Wilhelm von Humboldt and the German University
By David K. Robinson
Jan Evangelista Purkyne (Purkinje)
By Josef Brozek, Jiri Hoskovec
Ernst Heinrich Weber
By Horst-Peter Brauns
Fechner and Lotze
By Anneros Meischner-Metge, Wolfram Meischner
Hermann von Helmholtz
By Horst-Peter Brauns
Time-Measuring Apparatus in Psychology
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Wilhelm Wundt
By Arthur L. Blumenthal
Wundt's Laboratories
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Ursula Voss, Gustav A. Ungerer
Max Friedrich and the Origins of Experimental Psychology
By Peter J. Behrens
Wilhelm Wundt: The American Connection
By Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr.
Wilhelm Wundt's "Volkerpsychologie"
By Gustav Jahoda
Edward Bradford Titchener (1867-1927)
By Ryan D. Tweney
Wilhelm Wirth and the Psychophysical Seminar of Leipzig
By Christina Schroder
Hermann Ebbinghaus
By Hans Jurgen Lander
G. E. Muller: The Third Pillar of Experimental Psychology
By Peter J. Behrens
The Wurzburg School of Psychology
By Wolfgang G. Mack
The Experimental Analysis of Volition
By Heinz-Dieter Schmalt
Margaret Floy Washburn
By Ronda J. Carpenter
Can Apes Learn a Human Language?
By B. Michael Thorne
By Robert H. Wozniak
B. F. Skinner: Maverick, Inventor, Behaviorist, Critic
By Steven R. Coleman
A Purposive Behaviorist: Edward C. Tolman
By Nancy K. Innis
The Heretical Psychology of Egon Brunswik
By Elke M. Kurz, Ryan D. Tweney
Psychological Experiments
By Kurt Danziger, Paul Ballantyne
Ernst Mach and the Perception of Movement
By Michael Ley
Carl Stumpf
By Helga Sprung
The Graz School of Gestalt Psychology
By Reinhard Fabian
Gertrude Stein, William James, and Pablo Picasso's Cubism
By Marianne L. Teuber
The Psychologist Robert Musil
By Annette Daigger
The Berlin School of Gestalt Psychology
By Lothar Sprung, Helga Sprung
Gestalt Psychology at Frankfurt University
By Viktor Sarris
Wolfgang Kohler
By Siegfried Jaeger
Kurt Lewin - Filmmaker
By Helmut E. Luck
Roger Barker's Ecological Psychology
By Gerhard Kaminski
The Mental Life of Newborn Children
By Wolfgang G. Bringmann, William D. G. Balance, Norma J. Bringmann
G. Stanley Hall and American Psychology
By Charles E. Early, Wolfgang G. Bringmann, Michael W. Bringmann
Alfred Binet and the Quest for Testing Higher Mental Functioning
By Jacqueline L. Cunningham
The Beginnings of Educational Psychology in Germany
By Paul Probst
William Stern
By Wilfred Schmidt
Maria Montessori
By Elena Liotta
Lewis M. Terman: Architect for a Psychologically Stratified Society
By Henry L. Minton
Martha Muchow's Concept of Lifespace
By Rudolf Miller
Jean Piaget
By Horst Heidbrink
The Vienna School of Developmental Psychology
By Brigitte A. Rollett
Lev Semyonovich Vygotsky
By Rene van der Veer
Gordon W. Allport: A Becoming Personality
By Alvin H. Smith
George A. Kelly and the Development of Personal Construct Theory
By Robert A. Neimeyer, Thomas T. Jackson
Projective Techniques
By Peter van Drunen
A True TAT Story
By Jurgen Jahnke, Wesley G. Morgan
Classical Psychopathology
By Guiseppe Roccatagliata
Sigmund Freud: A Biographical Sketch
By Ernst Federn
Freud's Only Visit to America
By Saul Rosenzweig
The Case of Little Hans
By L. Dodge Fernald
Lou Andreas-Salome: Feminist and Psychoanalyst
By Inge Weber, Ursula Welsch
Psychoanalysts in Caricatures
By Helmut E. Luck
Alfred Adler
By Almuth Bruder-Bezzel, Rudiger Schiferer
Georg Groddeck
By Herbert Will
Carl Gustav Jung
By Angela Graf-Nold
Erich Fromm
By Rainer Funk
A Brief History of Child Sexual Abuse
By Catalina M. Arata
Psychology and the Nuremberg Trials
By Bridget O. Hannahan, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
By Antoon A. Leenaars
Anti-Psychiatry and Anti-History: "Nailing Jelly to the Wall"
By Michael J. Kral, Karen L. Marrero, Brian R. Burke
Lightner Witmer: The First Clinical Psychologist
By Paul McReynolds
Hugo Munsterberg: Pioneer of Applied Psychology
By Helmut E. Luck, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
The Origins of the Psychology of Testimony
By Siegfried Ludwig Sporer
By Peter van Drunen
Sports Psychology
By Gunther Baumler
On Telling Left from Right: The Apparatus of Handedness in Early American Psychology
By Maria F. Ippolito, Ryan D. Tweney
Lillian M. Gilbreth
By Philip M. Bartle
Traffic Psychology
By Hartmut Hacker, Wilfried Echterhoff
The Mobile Psychologist: Psychology and the Railroads
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Industrial Psychology
By Gerd Wiendieck
Advertising Psychology
By Gerd Wiendieck
The History of Psychology
By Charles E. Early, Wolfgang G. Bringmann
Psychological Journals
By Helio Carpintero
Psychological Associations and Societies
By Horst U. K. Gundlach
Psychology in the Netherlands
By Pieter J. van Strien
French Psychology
By Regine Plas
German Military Psychology

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