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Essays in honor of the late Freudian revisionist Karen Horney. Two of them are by her, but neither they nor any of the others add much in the way of new concepts or ideas. All concern her holistic psychoanalysis, or what should really be called psychosynthesis, since it is the bias toward the synthetic rather than the analytic the belief, for instance, that character structures and cultural factors determine sexual attitudes-which set her apart from Freud. The style of the essays is rather schoolteacherish, at times resembling The Reader's Digest on one of its periodic swings into deep thought: ""Healthy love gives as much, or even more to the lover as the loved one"" or ""This statement brings two questions to mind: 'What is anxiety?' and 'How does anxiety bring about sematic disorder?'"". Highbrows, of course, have never been happy with Horney, but what the essays so painstakingly prove and what makes them ultimately worthwhile and intellectually respectable, is how aptly she summed up the American Age of Neuroses. The entire now familiar catalogue is here: interpersonal relations and symbiotic attachments; anxiety, hostility, alienation; the idealized image; growth blockage and ego psychology; the ""real self"" and self-analysis, etc., etc. Pessimist Freud saw permanent inner conflict; Horney strove for ""responsibility, inner independence, spontaneity of feeling, wholeheartedness""- the traditional values. She spearheaded what has become our mental hygiene mania, and the essays devotedly commemorate and continue it.

Publisher: Norton