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A Mind of Her Own: The Life of Karen Horney [Hardcover]

Susan Quinn
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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From Publishers Weekly

"This intimate portrait of the feminist psychoanalyst who shook the Freudian establishment links the inner woman to the public figure, rebel and maverick," declared PW , calling the book "the fullest, most insightful biography of Horney to date." Photos.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Here, Quinn examines gifted clinician/writer Karen Horney, a psychoanalytic "renegade" eventually cast out of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute when she ran afoul of the new orthodoxy. The author sensitively traces the enormous loss both to the establishment and also to Horney and her new group, which became autocratic in its own right. Of all the recent accounts of psychoanalytic politics, this is one of the best. Although clearly partial to Horney, it is relatively even-handed in its presentation of the failings and strengths on both sides, and examines issues in depth. Of great interest to both scholar and layperson. Paul Hymowitz, Cornell Medical Coll., New York
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars has all the elements of a solid biography Jan. 20 2004
Format:Hardcover
This book is not only well-researched and referenced, but written in a pleasant narrative style that takes the reader through key events in the life of psychoanalyst and neoanalyst Karen Horney. Deft use of quotations from journals, letters, and interviews brings to life not only Horney herself as she moves through the stages of her life, but the historical background in which she taught, analyzed, loved, and struggled to trust the voice (in Carol Gilligan's sense of that word) which even Freud tried to disparage, emanating as it did from a woman--or as many of Horney's opponents were forced to acknowledge, from THAT woman.
Horney, a brilliant analyst, did stupid things on occasion, as all of us do. She could be impatient, unempathic, and impulsive. Her cheery humanistic view of human nature may have led her at times to underestimate what Jung called the shadow side of psyche. Nevertheless, the impact and originality of her ideas inspired generations of analysts and sympathetic readers all over the world. She refused to keep silent in the face of dissent, and thousands, perhaps millions, of us are the better for her courage.
The author mentions that Horney had a gift for inspiring the feeling, "She's talking about me!" More than twenty years ago, I picked up a book more or less at random one day, read it, and have been training in psychology--my own therapy, BA, MS, and now PhD--ever since. The book was Karen Horney's SELF-ANALYSIS. This fine biography helped me understand more about the analyst who stood by spiritually at the start of my own vocation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars has all the elements of a solid biography Jan. 20 2004
By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is not only well-researched and referenced, but written in a pleasant narrative style that takes the reader through key events in the life of psychoanalyst and neoanalyst Karen Horney. Deft use of quotations from journals, letters, and interviews brings to life not only Horney herself as she moves through the stages of her life, but the historical background in which she taught, analyzed, loved, and struggled to trust the voice (in Carol Gilligan's sense of that word) which even Freud tried to disparage, emanating as it did from a woman--or as many of Horney's opponents were forced to acknowledge, from THAT woman.
Horney, a brilliant analyst, did stupid things on occasion, as all of us do. She could be impatient, unempathic, and impulsive. Her cheery humanistic view of human nature may have led her at times to underestimate what Jung called the shadow side of psyche. Nevertheless, the impact and originality of her ideas inspired generations of analysts and sympathetic readers all over the world. She refused to keep silent in the face of dissent, and thousands, perhaps millions, of us are the better for her courage.
The author mentions that Horney had a gift for inspiring the feeling, "She's talking about me!" More than twenty years ago, I picked up a book more or less at random one day, read it, and have been training in psychology--my own therapy, BA, MS, and now PhD--ever since. The book was Karen Horney's SELF-ANALYSIS. This fine biography helped me understand more about the analyst who stood by spiritually at the start of my own vocation.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars first female psychiatrist & pioneer in psychoanalytic theory Aug. 23 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There are two particularly interesting points of focus in Quinn's book, the more obvious being the development of Horney's work as the first feminist psychiatrist (and Freudian psychoanalyst) at a time when psychoanalysis was not acceptable to the new specialty of psychiatry (that itself had only just become acceptable to neurology by declaring itself to be a specialty of brain diseases). The second theme, a natural concomitant of the first, is the revelation that Europe just before the turn of the century--the time and place where Horney was coming of age and beginning her study of medicine--was, contrary to popular belief, rather sexually open (at least among the intelligentsia) and a time of great advances in women's rights. Her life, from her first diary entries in 1898 at age 13 to her death in 1942, was a struggle to dissect herself to achieve self-understanding. Her earliest work was a slight divergence from pure Freudian theory; her later work was a true Horneyan theory, derived less from the brilliant organization of Freud and more from her life experience as a woman and a human being. From the beginning, Horney measured the validity of Freud's theories against her own experience, concluding that the female experience was worthy of its own body of theoretical work. Quinn has allowed Horney to be human, painstakingly documenting her genius, as well as her chaotic personal life that clearly furnished much of the material for developing her own psychoanalytic theory.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Horney" for the Ages June 20 2012
By Phyllis Antebi Ph.D - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Just read two terrific reviews and I can't begin to top what has already been reported about this biography by Susan Quinn. However, I do want to add that Karen Horney was born into a seething cauldron of male chauvinism and broke through as an early feminist. She is still quite relevant and continues to be read widely. As has been said, this book is meticulously researched and covers a life's journey worth celebrating. Whether you have a background in Psychoanalysis or you do not, Horney can open your mind to a vast and till now, seemingly obtuse underworld, we call the psyche. Read this book if you want to know what courage is in an age of "barely" enlightened men.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, insightful and worth every reading minute invested in understanding the originator of true feminine psychology Jan. 1 2014
By salutogenic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I couldn't put it down. Susan Quinn presents Karen Horney as a real, evolving woman with intellect, feelings, and courage that belie her own anxieties she shows as human neurosis. I am struck by how many important biographies of courageous women begin and end with the lost underlying essential human need to be relevant and loved.
Quinn presents Dr. Horney with successes and failures, with flaws and courageous breakthroughs in a world where she is villainized because she questions the rigid, narrow thesis of Freud. The historical men powered by psychological institutes in America and Germany have tried to erase her. Her insight prevails in her understanding of holistic psychoanalysis, theories of neurosis, and feminine psychology. Horney presented the other half of humanity as vibrant, creative, and meaningful and challenged the male-centric paradigms of 19th and 20th century psychology.
Horney discovered the power of being feminine and shared it through her writings, lectures, and life.
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