John Forrester’s passionate yet probing engagement with Freud and psychoanalysis is legendary. Here, in six introductory lectures delivered to his students at the University of Cambridge, his range and lucidity bring the evolution of Freud’s thinking and the nature of Freud’s discoveries into sharp focus. With an historian’s eye for context, Forrester explores Freud’s biography, the scientific moment, the radical subject matter of the field itself – sex, dreams, desire, the unconscious, childhood, language – as well as Freud’s development of a new clinical practice.
Forrester also explores both the growth of the psychoanalytic movement and the question of what kind of beast it might be as it travels through time and geography. He illuminates the cultural and revolutionary impact of psychoanalytic thinking – not only Freud’s, but that of some of his progeny in the many places where the movement flourished.
Freud and Psychoanalysis takes us from Vienna to London, from Paris to New York and Hollywood, from the lab to the couch, to the campus, to film and to literature. This is a slim book that packs a big punch. It invites any curious reader into a field and a way of thinking that shaped the twentieth century.