Cover image for Cassandra's daughter : a history of psychoanalysis
Cassandra's daughter : a history of psychoanalysis
Schwartz, Joseph, 1938-
Personal Author:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, 1999.
Physical Description:
339 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Originally published: London : Allen Lane, 1999.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF173 .S387 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Psychoanalysis--a systematic attempt to understand the inner workings of the mind--has survived perennial critique to emerge as the single most important intellectual development of the twentieth century. In Cassandra's Daughter, analyst Joseph Schwartz draws together the great events in the first century of analysis, its theoretical shifts and developments--from its origins in medical history and its attempt to heal "the sickness of the soul" to the present day cult of Prozac.Cassandra's Daughter covers Freud's stirrings as a young research scientist in anti-semitic Vienna, his early work with Brewer, Jung's split with Freud, and analysis's diverging path in America. It is an accessible and jargon-free introduction to one of the greatest stories of the century: the attempt to address and to heal human suffering, not to simply theorize abstractly about human behavior.Whether you are a staunch Freudian or whether you believe a cigar is always just a cigar, this is the most sensitive, learned and revelatory book on the evolution of analysis.

Author Notes

Joseph Schwartz is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and writer. Born in New York, he grew up in Los Angeles and was educated at the University of California, in Berkeley, where he received a B.A. in both physics and sociology and a Ph.D. in elementary particle physics. He worked for fifteen years in mental health research before becoming a clinician.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

So much Freud-bashing has appeared recently that it is a relief to see a book that depicts him as an imaginative innovator and an effective therapist. Freud, Schwartz states, was a real man, not a figure of myth. Schwartz is not, however, a typical psychoanalyst; his Ph.D. is in elementary particle physics, which bespeaks a scientific viewpoint and a certain detachment. Psychoanalysis has not participated in the glories of the industrial age; rather, it has taken cleaning up the personal messes industrialization has created as its raison d'etre. Schwartz asserts that psychoanalysis should be assessed not as a scientific procedure but as a subjective method of cooperation between therapist and patient, both of whom seek to uncover the latter's innermost feelings, thoughts, and individuality. The major question to ask is whether psychoanalysis is interesting, important, and capable of informing us about mental pain and our individual characters. Schwartz thoroughly describes the personalities, conflicts, and methods of psychoanalysis and its history. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

To demonstrate the important contribution psychoanalysis can make to the future investigation of "human relational needs," Schwartz, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author (Einstein for Beginners), offers a history of psychoanalysis and especially of the development of object-relations theory. Although the book does not add any fresh details to the often-told story of the development of psychoanalytic theory, it does present a distinctly British perspective on the main personal, political and social events that have shaped psychoanalysis from Freud to the present, including a discussion of the writings and personalities of figures like Melanie Klein, Ronald Fairbairn and others. Writing for a general audience, Schwartz avoids an extended discussion of the theoretical differences between the various schools and instead emphasizes the value of the general psychoanalytic endeavor to understanding the interior life of the individual. He also defends the theoretical and methodological integrity of psychoanalysis against those who attack its lack of scientific rigor with a thoughtful and well-argued account of why the discipline, as an investigation of the human subject, requires a method of inquiry that can never adhere to the scientific method employed in the study of objects. Unlike many shrill attacks and defenses of psychoanalysis, this book focuses neither on character assassination nor hagiography, but rather on what is interesting and still worthwhile in the attempt to gain understanding through talkingÄand listening. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

These two authors agree that psychoanalysis is a science, that some of Freud's theories are wrong, that relationships are as important as drives, and that, in the end, psychoanalysis is worth pursuing as a therapy, a theory of mind, and a boon to humanity. Schwartz, a London psychotherapist with a Ph.D. in physics, tells a rousing tale of Freud's life and legacyÄwith a social point of view, adding "justice" to the staples of love and work that signal mental health. His biographical writing on Freud and Adler is derivative and incomplete (Jung gets short shrift, Rank gets none), but he does examine the work of Karen Horney, Marie Langer, and many others who are usually ignored, and his work demonstrates a fine grasp of science and history, a lively style, and a social conscience. His uneven coverage and brashness can also be forgiven because he enlivens a difficult subject so well. Neophytes and experienced psychoanalysts alike will profit from this book. Gedo, a distinguished Chicago psychoanalyst, takes a different approach: he reviews 60 important psychoanalytic books produced over the last 25 years. Whereas Schwartz champions Ronald Fairbairn and dismisses Jacques Lacan, Gedo's favorites are less obvious; and whereas Schwartz's book is easy to read, Gedo's is highly technical. Gedo combines respect for biology and philosophy with articulate, academic writing on complex themes. He seeks links with brain sciences and disdains mentalism (e.g., Lacan), holding out hope for progress in psychoanalysis that is innovative but well grounded in theory and studied practice. Nonspecialists may find the introduction and final chapters useful as an overview, but this is a book by, and indispensable for, psychoanalysts.ÄE. James Lieberman, George Washington Univ. Sch. of Medicine, Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Schwartz packs an overly ambitious project into a small, beautifully produced book. Trained in sociology, physics, and mental health, he attempts to cover the entire history of psychoanalysis by looking at the life and writings of Freud and his contemporaries, at the splits between Freud and others, and finally at the troubled relations between psychoanalysis and psychiatry (including pharmacology and neurobiology). Schwartz's discussions of the clinical and theoretical import of some of Freud's writings and/or commonly held general psychoanalytic ideas seem slightly off target. Confusing perspectives may result from lack of clarity about audience: Schwartz includes too much detail for the average lay reader yet insufficient substantiation and annotations for scholars. Schwartz writes idiosyncratically, with a conviction that one might use with an audience unlikely to want to know how this or that argument adds to or subtracts from those in other works--e.g, definitive biographies by Ernest Jones (The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud, 1953) or Peter Gay (Freud: A Life for Our Time, CH, Nov'88). Schwartz's pleasantly written book best serves the general reader with a strong interest in psychoanalysis. R. H. Balsam; Yale University

Table of Contents

1 Boundariesp. 1
2 Freudp. 15
3 Hysteria and the Origins of the Analytic Hourp. 40
4 First Theoriesp. 63
5 First Splitsp. 93
6 The Transferencep. 130
7 Expanding the Frontier: Psychoanalysis in the United States Ip. 144
8 New Theory, New Splits: Psychoanalysis in the United States IIp. 170
9 Child Psychoanalysis: Beginnings of a New Paradigmp. 193
10 Breakthrough in Britainp. 216
11 Transmuting Collision: Psychoanalysis, Feminism and the Sixtiesp. 245
12 Futuresp. 272
Notesp. 285
Bibliographyp. 295
Acknowledgementsp. 328
Indexp. 331