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Book review: Jung: A Biography, by Deirdre Bair

There have been many biographies of C.G. Jung, written from different viewpoints. Some, notably Richard Noll's The Jung Cult: Origins of a Charismatic Movement, have been strongly hostile, while others written by Jungian analysts have naturally taken a diametrically opposite position. Some less committed psychiatrists, such as ,Anthony Storr, have been broadly sympathetic although not unreservedly enthusiastic.

Bair differs from many of her predecessors in not being a psychiatrist or psychoanalyst. As far as I know she has not undergone a Jungian analysis either; she is a professional biographer and writes about Jung without having adopted a prior position either for or against. While she does not shirk describing Jung's ideas her main focus is on events and personalities. She gives us the fullest account I have seen of his life and relationships. She has had access to a large amount of material, much of it unpublished, and has had many conversations with members of Jung's family and others who knew him, although some of these spoke only on condition of anonymity. [More]


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