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Totem and Taboo Resemblances Between the Psychic Lives of Savages and Neurotics

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ISBN-10: 1573927899

ISBN-13: 9781573927895

Edition: 2000 (Unabridged)

Authors: Sigmund Freud, A. A. Brill

List price: $14.99
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Landmark collection of essays explores the conflict between primitive feelings and the demands of civilization. Ground-breaking work, essential for teachers and students of psychology and readers interested in ethnology and folklore.
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Book details

List price: $14.99
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: Prometheus Books, Publishers
Publication date: 3/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 281
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.748
Language: English

Sigmund Freud was the founder of psychoanalysis, simultaneously a theory of personality, a therapy, and an intellectual movement. He was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Freiburg, Moravia, now part of Czechoslovakia, but then a city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. At the age of 4, he moved to Vienna, where he spent nearly his entire life. In 1873 he entered the medical school at the University of Vienna and spent the following eight years pursuing a wide range of studies, including philosophy, in addition to the medical curriculum. After graduating, he worked in several clinics and went to Paris to study under Jean-Martin Charcot, a neurologist who used hypnosis to treat the symptoms of hysteria. When Freud returned to Vienna and set up practice as a clinical neurologist, he found orthodox therapies for nervous disorders ineffective for most of his patients, so he began to use a modified version of the hypnosis he had learned under Charcot. Gradually, however, he discovered that it was not necessary to put patients into a deep trance; rather, he would merely encourage them to talk freely, saying whatever came to mind without self-censorship, in order to bring unconscious material to the surface, where it could be analyzed. He found that this method of free association very often evoked memories of traumatic events in childhood, usually having to do with sex. This discovery led him, at first, to assume that most of his patients had actually been seduced as children by adult relatives and that this was the cause of their neuroses; later, however, he changed his mind and concluded that his patients' memories of childhood seduction were fantasies born of their childhood sexual desires for adults. (This reversal is a matter of some controversy today.) Out of this clinical material he constructed a theory of psychosexual development through oral, anal, phallic and genital stages. Freud considered his patients' dreams and his own to be "the royal road to the unconscious." In The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), perhaps his most brilliant book, he theorized that dreams are heavily disguised expressions of deep-seated wishes and fears and can give great insight into personality. These investigations led him to his theory of a three-part structure of personality: the id (unconscious biological drives, especially for sex), the superego (the conscience, guided by moral principles), and the ego (the mediator between the id and superego, guided by reality). Freud's last years were plagued by severe illness and the rise of Nazism, which regarded psychoanalysis as a "Jewish pollution." Through the intervention of the British and U.S. governments, he was allowed to emigrate in 1938 to England, where he died 15 months later, widely honored for his original thinking. His theories have had a profound impact on psychology, anthropology, art, and literature, as well as on the thinking of millions of ordinary people about their own lives. Freud's daughter Anna Freud was the founder of the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic in London, where her specialty was applying psychoanalysis to children. Her major work was The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense (1936).

A. Brill was the first psychoanalyst in the United States. He was also the first to bring the teaching of Sigmund Freud to this country and translate Freud's works into English. He also translated many works of Carl Jung. Brill was born in Austria and came to the United States as a teenager. Alone and penniless, he worked at menial jobs while learning to speak English. It took Brill only three years to complete his American elementary and high school education; in 1898, he graduated from the College of the City of New York. He went on to earn a B.A. in philosophy from New York University on a scholarship and received his medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1903. As a medical student, Brill was interested in neurology and psychiatry, but it was a later meeting with Freud in Vienna that had the greatest impact on his life and work. Learning the essentials of psychoanalysis from Freud and continuing to correspond with his teacher and friend until Freud's death, Brill returned to the United States in 1908 and set up the first psychoanalytic practice in the United States in New York City. Brill's Psychoanalysis: Its Theory and Application (1912) was the first American book on the subject of psychoanalysis, and his Basic Principles of Psychoanalysis (1949) is the classic handbook of psychoanalysis for lay readers. Brill died in 1948.

The Savage's Dread of Incest
Taboo and the Ambivalence of Emotions
Animism, Magic and the Omnipotence of Thought
The Infantile Recurrence of Totemism