100 books like Freud, Biologist of the Mind

By Frank J. Sulloway,

Here are 100 books that Freud, Biologist of the Mind fans have personally recommended if you like Freud, Biologist of the Mind. Shepherd is a community of 9,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Freud: The Mind of the Moralist

Todd Dufresne Author Of The Late Sigmund Freud: Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life

From my list on Freud and his legacy.

Who am I?

I am a professor of philosophy and editor or author of 12 books. I started out in ‘Freud Studies’ in the 1990s with no agenda, just a deep interest in Freud’s ideas. Since then I’ve written quite a lot on it. Unfortunately, the field is so contentious, so overrun with books by former patients and analysts, that casual readers couldn’t possibly make heads or tails of it. Readers are best served by reading complete works of Freud and making their own assessments. After that, they can look at Freud’s voluminous and eye-opening correspondence with colleagues. Then they can consult good books, and lists of recommended works, that put them in the right direction.

Todd's book list on Freud and his legacy

Todd Dufresne Why did Todd love this book?

This is a very good, fair, smart, early interpretation of Freudian psychoanalysis in general, and of its significance for culture and intellectual history in particular. It’s very well written, probably because Susan Sontag (Rieff’s wife at the time) is widely reported to have actually written the book, and in the 1960s the book became highly influential. It is easily Rieff’s best book. 

By Philip Rieff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freud as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a classic, this book was hailed upon its original publication in 1959 as "An event to be acclaimed . . . a book of genuine brilliance on Freud's cultural importance . . . a permanently valuable contribution to the human sciences."-Alastair MacIntyre, Manchester Guardian

"This remarkably subtle and substantial book, with its nicely ordered sequences of skilled dissections and refined appraisals, is one of those rare products of profound analytic thought. . . . The author weighs each major article of the psychoanalytic canon in the scales of his sensitive understanding, then gives a superbly balanced judgement."-Henry A. Murray,…


Book cover of The Discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry

Bonnie Evans Author Of The Metamorphosis of Autism: A History of Child Development in Britain

From my list on the making of the modern self.

Who am I?

My interest in this topic began after my father died when I was a young teenager and I was left looking for answers, explanations, and meanings. My dad was an architect and had written a book on Jeremy Bentham’s panoptican and prison architecture published before the French philosopher Michel Foucault’s famous Discipline and Punish. A small collection of Foucault’s books stood prominently on my father’s bookshelves and I really wanted to understand them. At university I studied all of Foucault’s works and many authors inspired by him. These are the best books that explain how we have developed philosophical and psychological theories to understand ourselves in the contemporary world.

Bonnie's book list on the making of the modern self

Bonnie Evans Why did Bonnie love this book?

The epic 900-page Discovery of the Unconscious is a phenomenally detailed and well-researched book that still challenges many of today’s psychological ‘truths.’ Ellenberger takes as his starting point models of the unconscious developed by Pierre Janet, Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, and Carl Jung, which still influence many contemporary therapeutic treatments. He then skilfully links these models of the unconscious mind back to exorcism, magnetism, and hypnotism. Ellenberger’s detailed account of the use of magnetism and hypnosis by Jean Martin Charcot and others is fascinating because he explains exactly how Charcot's approaches premised new “uncovering” models devised by Nietzsche and the neo-Romantic movement. He also explains how Charcot’s work related to the growing interest in instincts and sexuality inspired by Darwin that culminated in the Freudian unconscious. In doing so, Ellenberger exposes what was genuinely new in the modern unconscious, and which parts of it have a much longer history. The…

By Henri F. Ellenberger,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Discovery of the Unconscious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This classic work is a monumental, integrated view of man's search for an understanding of the inner reaches of the mind. In an account that is both exhaustive and exciting, the distinguished psychiatrist and author demonstrates the long chain of development,through the exorcists, magnetists, and hypnotists,that led to the fruition of dynamic psychiatry in the psychological systems of Janet, Freud, Adler, and Jung.


Book cover of The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute

Todd Dufresne Author Of The Late Sigmund Freud: Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life

From my list on Freud and his legacy.

Who am I?

I am a professor of philosophy and editor or author of 12 books. I started out in ‘Freud Studies’ in the 1990s with no agenda, just a deep interest in Freud’s ideas. Since then I’ve written quite a lot on it. Unfortunately, the field is so contentious, so overrun with books by former patients and analysts, that casual readers couldn’t possibly make heads or tails of it. Readers are best served by reading complete works of Freud and making their own assessments. After that, they can look at Freud’s voluminous and eye-opening correspondence with colleagues. Then they can consult good books, and lists of recommended works, that put them in the right direction.

Todd's book list on Freud and his legacy

Todd Dufresne Why did Todd love this book?

This well-written, tightly-argued little book of 1995 gathers together four feature articles from The New York Review of Books that together represent a watershed moment in ‘Freud Studies.’ For here was the NYRB, a long-standing bastion of psychoanalysis, publishing splashy articles that functioned like a Hollywood expose of Freud’s failings as a man, thinker, and therapist. In truth, Crews was simply giving voice to a ‘revisionist’ portrait of Freud that started in earnest in the wake of Jones’s three-volume ‘life and work’ of Freud (1953-57). Best of all: Crews connects it all to the ‘recovered memory’ movement of the 1980s and 90s, thereby drawing a  disturbing portrait of Freud’s legacy.  

By Frederick Crews,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Memory Wars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The author's critique of Freudian psychoanalyis and the "recovered memory" movement, first published in 1993 in The New York Review of Books to a storm of controversy, is presented along with twenty-five responses. IP.


Book cover of Freud's Patients: A Book of Lives

Todd Dufresne Author Of The Late Sigmund Freud: Or, The Last Word on Psychoanalysis, Society, and All the Riddles of Life

From my list on Freud and his legacy.

Who am I?

I am a professor of philosophy and editor or author of 12 books. I started out in ‘Freud Studies’ in the 1990s with no agenda, just a deep interest in Freud’s ideas. Since then I’ve written quite a lot on it. Unfortunately, the field is so contentious, so overrun with books by former patients and analysts, that casual readers couldn’t possibly make heads or tails of it. Readers are best served by reading complete works of Freud and making their own assessments. After that, they can look at Freud’s voluminous and eye-opening correspondence with colleagues. Then they can consult good books, and lists of recommended works, that put them in the right direction.

Todd's book list on Freud and his legacy

Todd Dufresne Why did Todd love this book?

In principle, psychoanalytic theory and practice rely on evidence adduced from the clinical case studies of patients. Freud, however, presented very few such cases. With this in mind, Borch-Jacobsen has done something of permanent importance to the field: he researched and wrote 38 ‘lost’ and unofficial case studies of Freud’s patients and gathered them all into one volume. The book as such functions as a shocking disconfirmation of everything we thought we knew about Freud the man, the theorist, and the therapist. And, best of all, it does so in plain, highly accessible language.  

By Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freud's Patients as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Everyone knows the characters described by Freud in his case histories: 'Dora', the 'Rat Man', the 'Wolf Man'. But what do we know of the people, the lives behind these famous pseudonyms: Ida Bauer, Ernst Lanzer, Sergius Pankejeff? Do we know the circumstances that led them to Freud's consulting-room, or how they fared - how they really fared - following their treatments?
And what of those patients about whom Freud wrote nothing, or very little: Pauline Silberstein, who threw herself from the fourth floor of her analyst's building; Elfriede Hirschfeld, Freud's 'grand-patient' and 'chief tormentor'; the fashionable architect Karl Mayreder;…


Book cover of Psychoanalysis: The Impossible Profession

Timothy D. Wilson Author Of Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious

From my list on self knowledge.

Who am I?

Like most adolescents, I was deeply concerned with what others thought of me and how I fit in. Unlike most adolescents, I sometimes did little experiments to test others’ reactions--such as lying down on a busy sidewalk, fully awake, to see how passersby would react (mostly with annoyance). Imagine my surprise when I discovered that there is an entire discipline--social psychology--that does real experiments on self-knowledge and social behavior. I got a Ph.D. in social psychology at the University of Michigan and have spent my career as a professor at the University of Virginia, where I have had great fun conducting such experiments.

Timothy's book list on self knowledge

Timothy D. Wilson Why did Timothy love this book?

Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis have cast a long shadow over our understanding of the human mind. Most research psychologists today find Freud’s ideas to be oversimplified, exaggerated, or simply wrong. It is important to understand his legacy, however, and there is no better way to do so than to read this entertaining, gossipy book about psychoanalytic theory and treatment. Malcolm provides a rare peek into the consulting room of the psychoanalyst, with insightful critiques of the practice and theory of psychoanalysis. What is Freud’s legacy, exactly? I discuss that in Strangers to Ourselves, in a chapter entitled, “Freud’s genius, Freud’s myopia.”

By Janet Malcolm,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Psychoanalysis as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Through an intensive study of 'Aaron Green,' a Freudian analyst in New York City, New Yorker writer Janet Malcolm reveals the inner workings of psychoanalysis.


Book cover of Otto Rank: A Rediscovered Legacy

Jeff Greenberg Author Of The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life

From my list on the core desires that guide human behavior.

Who am I?

I am a Regents Professor of Psychology at the University of Arizona. Ever since I was a child growing up in the South Bronx, I have been interested in why people are so driven to believe they are right and good, and why there is so much prejudice in the world. This has led to me to a lifelong exploration of the basic motivations that guide people’s actions, and how these motivations influence how people view themselves and others, and the goals they pursue.

Jeff's book list on the core desires that guide human behavior

Jeff Greenberg Why did Jeff love this book?

This book summarizes the contributions of Otto Rank, the brilliant and influential psychoanalyst. Rank focused on two core psychological motivations, the desires for psychological security on the one hand, and for stimulation, growth, and creativity on the other. His work illuminates how these desires often work in concert but also often can be in opposition over the course of the lifespan, contributing to guilt, anxiety, and stunting growth. Rank’s analysis inspired the development of both existential psychology and humanistic psychology. Rank’s approach to psychological well-being is based on accepting and even affirming the limitations of life, understanding what you really want in life, and developing the will to move creatively toward achieving those goals so that one can live an authentic and satisfying life.   

By Esther Menaker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Otto Rank as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Book cover of A Primer of Freudian Psychology

Richard E. Nisbett Author Of Thinking: A Memoir

From my list on thinking.

Who am I?

Richard Nisbett is one of the world’s preeminent psychologists. His thinking is primarily about thought, but it is extremely wide-ranging – from biopsychology to social psychology to criminology to philosophy. His influence on philosophy has been compared to that of Freud and Skinner.

Richard's book list on thinking

Richard E. Nisbett Why did Richard love this book?

This book gives an excellent overview of Freud’s thoughts about human psychology, and also shows the way he thought. Freud’s brilliance shines through. I hasten to say most, though not by any means all of his hypotheses are wrong. I read this book at 15 and knew when I finished it I was going to be a psychologist. Some of my work gives strong support to a few of his hypotheses about the unconscious. Ironically, Freud himself didn’t believe his ideas could be tested by psychology experiments.

By Calvin S. Hall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Primer of Freudian Psychology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Culled from forty years of writing by the founder of psychoanalysis, A Primer Of Freudian Psychology introduces Freud's theories on the dynamics and development of the human mind. Hall also provides a brief biography of Sigmund Freud and examines how he arrived at his groundbreaking conclusions. In discussing the elements that form personality, the author explains the pioneer thinker's ideas on defense mechanisms, the channeling of instinctual drives, and the role of sex in male and female maturation. Lucid, illuminating, and instructive, this is an important book for all who seek to understand human behavior, in themselves and others.


Book cover of Freudian Repression: Conversation Creating the Unconscious

Don Kulick Author Of A Death in the Rainforest: How a Language and a Way of Life Came to an End in Papua New Guinea

From my list on see the world with fresh eyes.

Who am I?

I am an anthropologist who has written or edited more than a dozen books on topics that range from the lives of trans sex workers, to the anthropology of fat. I have conducted extensive fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Scandinavia. I work at Uppsala University in Sweden, where I am a Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology, and where I direct a research program titled Engaging Vulnerability.

Don's book list on see the world with fresh eyes

Don Kulick Why did Don love this book?

Sigmund Freud tends to be lampooned these days as a cartoonish patriarch, but psychoanalysis is one of the few genuinely insightful theories that tries to understand why people frequently do things they can’t explain, don’t understand, or don’t even want to do. Social psychologist Michael Billig’s book starts out by noting that Freud considered his greatest discovery to be not the unconscious (as most people think), but repression – the series of activities that produce the unconscious. The book is a clearly-written, practical exploration of how repression is accomplished in day-to-day life. An example: “Each time adults tell a child how to speak politely, they are indicating how to speak rudely”. Think about that.

By Michael Billig,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Freudian Repression as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Freudian Repression, Michael Billig presents an original reformulation of Freud's concept of repression, showing that in his theory of the unconscious he fails to examine how people actually repress shameful thoughts. Drawing on recent insights from discursive psychology, Billig suggests that in learning to speak we also learn what not to say: language is thus both expressive and repressive. He applies this perspective to some of Freud's classic case histories such as 'Dora' and the 'Rat Man' and the great psychologist's own life to show the importance of small words in speech. By focusing on previously overlooked exchanges, even…


Book cover of Dalí. The Paintings

Alan Pierce Author Of An Artist's Odyssey: Chasing Ghosts, Masters & The Business of Art

From my list on Maestros of the art world and prisms of thought.

Who am I?

I first started art when I was nine years old, but my art journey really started after seeing the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s work at age 14. This experience changed my life and from there, I continued on with fourteen years of formal art education. The book details my experience and journey as a student, instructor, and professional artist over a thirty-year time period across three continents. I wrote An Artist’s Odyssey to help young artists or artists transitioning into art as a profession to help them avoid the pitfalls of the art world and supplement the necessary business acumen required to make a sustainable career in the art world.

Alan's book list on Maestros of the art world and prisms of thought

Alan Pierce Why did Alan love this book?

Dalí. The Paintings is one of the most complete compilations of works I’ve seen, and it includes the examination of one of the most prolific and controversial figures in art. Salvador Dali is a genius. He took his artistic skill and vision across so many different genres of the arts. The book is a fascinating journey into his mind and work. I learned a tremendous amount regarding composition, palette and tone decisions, and of course realism. I loved the idea that you can inspire the mind, leading it into new thought patterns by presenting something that is different or strange. 

By Robert Descharnes, Gilles Néret,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dalí. The Paintings as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Painter, sculptor, writer, and filmmaker, Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was one of the century's greatest exhibitionists and eccentrics-and was rewarded with fierce controversy wherever he went. He was one of the first to apply the insights of Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis to the art of painting, approaching the subconscious with extraordinary sensitivity and imagination.

This publication presents the artist's painted oeuvre. After many years of research, Robert Descharnes and Gilles Neret finally located the paintings of this highly prolific artist. Many of the works had been inaccessible for years-in fact so many that almost half the illustrations in this book had…


Book cover of Memories, Dreams, Reflections

Theresa Cheung Author Of The Dream Dictionary from A to Z

From my list on dream decoding.

Who am I?

I was born into a family of psychics and spiritualists, where dream decoding was the order of the day. I did my Bachelor's degree in Theology and English at King's College, Cambridge University, and since graduating have devoted my life to spreading the word about the healing and transformative power of dream work. I share my passion for mainstreaming dream decoding as a potent personal and spiritual growth tool through my numerous dream and spiritual awakening books, podcasts, media appearances, my Sunday Times bestselling author status, and my collaboration with scientists, neuroscientists, and psychologists researching dreams and the science of consciousness; I have earned the title Queen of Dreams.

Theresa's book list on dream decoding

Theresa Cheung Why did Theresa love this book?

This is a mind, heart, and eye-opening biography of one of the most influential psychiatrists and dream workers of his time, Carl Gustav Jung. In this book, he shares his lectures, conversations, and his own writings.  

Jung's psychological approach to dreams and the workings of the inner world are truly seminal and a must-read for any serious student of their own dreams. Jung not only changed the study of dreams, setting up the Jungian school of thought and Jungian dream analysis, but he forever changed the way dreams are studied and perceived.  

By C.G. Jung, Aniela Jaffe (editor), Clara Winston (translator) , Richard Winston (translator)

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Memories, Dreams, Reflections as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I can understand myself only in the light of inner happenings. It is these that make up the singularity of my life, and with these my autobiography deals' Carl Jung

An eye-opening biography of one of the most influential psychiatrists of the modern age, drawing from his lectures, conversations, and own writings.

In the spring of 1957, when he was eighty-one years old, Carl Gustav Jung undertook the telling of his life story. Memories, Dreams, Reflections is that book, composed of conversations with his colleague and friend Aniela Jaffe, as well as chapters written in his own hand, and other…


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