The Case of Sigmund Freud


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The Case of Sigmund Freud

, 320 pages
December 1994



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The Case of Sigmund Freud

Medicine and Identity at the Fin de Siècle

In The Case of Sigmund Freud, Sander Gilman traces the "medicalization" of Jewishness in the science and medicine of turn-of-the-century Vienna, and the ways in which Jewish physicians responded to the effort to incorporate racist biological literature into medical practice. Focusing on the new science of psychoanalysis, Gilman looks at the strategic devices Sigmund Freud employed to detach himself from the stigma of being Jewish and shows how Freud's work in psychoanalysis evolved in response to the biological discourse of the time.

Sander L. Gilman is the Goldwin Smith Professor of Humane Studies at Cornell University and professor of the history of psychiatry at the Cornell Medical College. [confirm]

"Mr. Gilman's work is the most convincing account of how Freud's anxiety about being Jewish is reflected in his work. After reading Mr. Gilman's exhaustive treatment, one cannot help seeing Freud as struggling to formulate a response to the Viennese notions of Jewishness in which he was inescapably steeped."

"Gilman [is] one of the most original and stimulating cultural historians of his generation... Reminds us that the best cultural history does not bring us comfortingly nearer to the past, but brings its distance from us to life."

"Gilman is unrelenting in documenting how the biological literature of the 19th century was racist to its core. A stimulating and provocative book."

"Historians, no matter what their field, ignore Sander Gilman's work at their peril."