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August 19, 1998

FreudFreud and His Aphasia Book: Language and the Sources of Psychoanalysis

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Copyright 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1998American Medical Association

JAMA. 1998;280(7):665-666. doi:10.1001/jama.280.7.665-JBK0819-2-1

Freud and His Aphasia Book is an exercise in scholarship in the history of science, medicine, and the behavioral sciences by a philologist professor of German, Valerie D. Greenberg. Unusually well written and researched, the book looks back and looks forward from the exceptionally neglected first book by Sigmund Freud named in its title. From a perspective only slightly biased in favor of the significance of language—as a key mediating variable at the crossroads between the disciplines known to be involved in the problem of the science of aphasiology—Greenberg not only reads Freud's writings on psychoanalysis with a critical and perceptive eye, but she also reads what Freud read—his many sources for the aphasia book. She read as well the key historical and theoretical pieces since published on the subject. The result is a unique piece of luminous interdisciplinary scholarship with heuristic value for students and scholars concerned with the broadest areas of the history of contemporary scientific culture in medicine, psychology, and human behavior.

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