0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letter to the Editor   |    
Book Review Challenged
Judd Marmor, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 1998;155:1132-1132.

TO THE EDITOR: I do not ordinarily respond to psychoanalysts' adverse reviews of my published work; as a persistent critic of psychoanalytic instinct theory over the past 50 years, I have come to take such reviews for granted. Now, however, I find myself compelled to respond to the patent unfairness of Richard Chessick's appraisal (R1558281A) of the reissue of the 1968 volume of essays, Modern Psychoanalysis: New Directions and Perspectives (R1558282A), which I had the privilege of editing. Chessick makes the egregious error of comparing it to new editions of the Cecil Textbook of Medicine, as if Modern Psychoanalysis were presented as a textbook of psychoanalysis that needed periodic updating. In fact, the volume is a collection of essays by a group of distinguished contributors (many of whom, unhappily, have since died) who shared the conviction that much of psychoanalytic theory lacks a sound scientific basis and needs to be supplanted by newer concepts based on biobehavioral research findings. Because the critical ideas expressed by these authors continue to be highly relevant, Transaction Publishers considered the book worthy of reprinting as a contemporary classic.

The correctness of that decision is dramatically exemplified by Chessick's thinking, which conceals a resurgence of instinct-oriented theorizing clothed in "postmodern" seductive verbiage. Anyone who doubts this should read his article "Archaic Sadism" (R1558282A), in which he advances the astounding, totally unscientific, and unprovable thesis that "all humans are born with a primal biological archaic aggressive-destructive drive the gratification of which gives satisfaction just like the sexual drive." If that is representative of the kind of psychoanalytic thinking that he favors, I can say only that it underlines the importance of calling the essays in Modern Psychoanalysis to the attention of the psychodynamically oriented members of our profession all over again.

Chessick RD: Book review, J Marmor (ed): Modern Psychoanalysis: New Directions and Perspectives. Am J Psychiatry  1996; 153:729–731
 
Chessick RD: Archaic sadism. J Am Acad Psychoanal  1996; 24:605–618
[PubMed]
 
+

References

Chessick RD: Book review, J Marmor (ed): Modern Psychoanalysis: New Directions and Perspectives. Am J Psychiatry  1996; 153:729–731
 
Chessick RD: Archaic sadism. J Am Acad Psychoanal  1996; 24:605–618
[PubMed]
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Related Content
Books
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 23.  >
The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment, 4th Edition > Chapter 23.  >
Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments > Chapter 1.  >
Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments > Chapter 1.  >
Textbook of Psychotherapeutic Treatments > Chapter 10.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles
Instinctual sadism: a recurrent myth about human nature. J Am Acad Psychoanal 1999;27(1):1-6.