The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45

1st Edition

Edited by Pearl King, Riccardo Steiner


996 pages

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Following Freud's death in 1939, the radical theories of Melanie Klein were the subject of prolonged controversy and fierce debate within the British Psychoanalytical Society. At the time, individuals fought passionately in support of their positions.

In the midst of, or as a result of, the personal animosities and political manoeuvrings, important intellectual contributions were made, and practical decisions taken, which were to affect the development of psychoanalysis down to the present day.

The Freud-Klein Controversies 1941-45 offers the first complete record of the debate, including all relevant papers and correspondence, based on previously closed archive material which is presented without censorship.


"A meticulously researched work of great importance." - Dr Harold Blum, Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives

"This book has been meticulously edited by King and Steiner, who both provide clear and helpful introductions to each section….no psychoanalytic library can be complete without it. It makes for exhaustive, exhausting and fascinating reading." - Noel Hess

"The publication of the "Discussions" is an event of special significance, for the issues considered are as alive today as they were at the time they took place." - Joseph Sandler, former Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University of London

"Steiner and King have performed and invaluable service by bringing these documents before the public, and their significance will not easily be exhausted by the readers who are sure to pore over them." - Peter Rudnytsky, London Review of Books

"Who would have thought a near thousand page archive could be so dramatic?….Its gripping power stems from the volume seizing on issues which, however buried, are still very much alive today. And for this its editors are to be congratulated for organising their material so well." - Janet Sayers, British Journal of Psychotherapy

"The most important document from post-Freudian psychoanalysis." - André Green, Member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and Honorary member of the British Psychoanalytic Society, UK

Table of Contents

King, Biographical Notes. Preface and Acknowledgements. King, Introduction. Section One: The Evolution of Controversies in the British Psycho-Analytical Society. Section Two: First Series of Scientific Discussions on Controversial Issues. Section Three: Scientific Controversies and the Training of Candidates. Section Four: Second Series of Scientific Discussions on Controversial Issues. Section Five: Reorganization after the Controversies. References. Name Index. Subject Index.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health