Élisabeth Roudinesco offers a bold and modern reinterpretation of the iconic founder of psychoanalysis. Based on new archival sources, this is Freud’s biography for the twenty-first century—a critical appraisal, at once sympathetic and impartial, of a genius greatly admired and yet greatly misunderstood in his own time and in ours.
Roudinesco traces Freud’s life from his upbringing as the eldest of eight siblings in a prosperous Jewish-Austrian household to his final days in London, a refugee of the Nazis’ annexation of his homeland. She recreates the milieu of fin de siècle Vienna in the waning days of the Habsburg Empire—an era of extraordinary artistic innovation, given luster by such luminaries as Gustav Klimt, Stefan Zweig, and Gustav Mahler. In the midst of it all, at the modest residence of Berggasse 19, Freud pursued his clinical investigation of nervous disorders, blazing a path into the unplumbed recesses of human consciousness and desire.
“Through seamlessly and eloquently weaving together details from Freud’s time and our own, [Roudinesco] provides a refreshingly new and welcome account—warts and all.”—Janet Sayers, Times Higher Education
“What makes Freud: In His Time And Ours…such a captivating read, is the author’s ability to explain what are often complex, deeply-layered, and dark taboo subjects, into a language that is easily understood… [A] brilliant biography.”—J. P. O’Mallery, The Irish Examiner