This book was written under the continued influence of personal and professional encounters with Alfred Adler, the...

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MASKS OF LONELINESS: Alfred Adler in Perspective

This book was written under the continued influence of personal and professional encounters with Alfred Adler, the protagonist in one of the first serious schisms of the Freudian entourage, founder of the school of Individual Psychology. Sperber evokes the cultural atmosphere surrounding Viennese psychology during the first quarter of the century, gives us anecdotes of Adler's career and attempts to explicate the meaning and significance of such Adlerian loci classici as the ""inferiority complex,"" ""will to power"" and ""masculine protest,"" the impetus which human beings feel to prove their feelings of inadequacy unjustified. The book abounds in recollections and casual digressions on war, youth, education and the glories and miseries of psychotherapy. The overall result is disappointing. Neither serious biography nor intellectual history, the book comes to an end without having found its focus. Nevertheless it accomplishes one thing: after an erratic survey of Adler's evolution, from an early rejection of Freud's instinctivism to his last inspirational phase based on a ""psychology of values,"" Sperber manages, despite his repeated efforts to defend and celebrate Adler, to convince us that Freud was quite justified in criticizing Adler not because his views were false, but because they were superficial.

Pub Date: May 30, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1974