Cover image for Freud's Jewish identity : a case study in the impact of ethnicity
Freud's Jewish identity : a case study in the impact of ethnicity
Diller, Jerry V.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Rutherford, NJ : Fairleigh Dickinson University Press ; London : Associated University Presses, [1991]

Physical Description:
243 pages ; 25 cm.
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
RC339.52.F733 D55 1991 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Choice Review

A well-meaning and elementary book about Freud's Jewishness. Diller, a psychologist with an interest in ethnicity, draws mainly on well-known texts, e.g., the biography by Ernest Jones (The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, 3v., 1953), or the Freud-Abraham correspondence, to support, again, the well-established fact that Freud was ambivalent about his identity. As he himself stated, Freud was drawn to German culture; he also had an increasing feeling of "solidarity with my people" over a lifetime, and as a devotee of the Enlightenment, simultaneously made clear that he was an atheist and despised any form of religiosity, Jewish or otherwise. He forbade his orthodox Jewish bride to light candles, brought up his children free of Jewish ritual, and he chose Jung, the brilliant but prideful Aryan, as his intellectual son and heir. The book is full of such life facts, offered in a tone of discovery and apparently addressed to a completely naive reader. Diller's dealings with the Freudian oeuvre, e.g., such relevant works as Freud's Moses and Monotheism (1939), are disappointingly superficial. The writing is repetitive and the text is marred by a number of misprints and misspellings. The trouble is that Diller's competitors in this area, Peter Gay and Yosef Yerushalmi, are formidable scholars, better qualified to convey the necessary subtleties. There is possibly no room for a primer in this field. General readership.-R. H. Balsam, Yale University