Heresy: Sandor Rado and the Psychoanalytic Movement.


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ROAZEN, PAUL, AND SWERDLOFF, BLUMA, EDS. Heresy: Sandor Rado and the Psychoanalytic Movement. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson, 1995. xii + 219 pp. $35.00.Roazen, a well-known historian of psychoanalysis, said that a memoir of Sandor Rado cried out to be published. Swerdloff, the second editor of this volume, had fortunately already recorded an oral history of Sando Rado, which Roazen edited for this volume.Rado, a Hungarian, discovered Freud through a pamphlet written by his Budapest contemporary, Sandor Ferenczi, in 1914. Rado subsequently devoted himself to psychoanalytic study, ultimately becoming the editor of the two outstanding Freudian journals The International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Imago. This volume also includes a collection of 37 letters written by Freud to Rado regarding his editorial responsibilities. What is particularly noteworthy is the last of this correspondence, which contains a plaintive plea to Rado: “I don't know whether you are more necessary in the USA or in Berlin,” and continues “We have missed you bitterly here; of course it is counted on that you will resume editorship if you return.” There is also an introduction and an epilogue contributed by Swerdloff as well as a summary of Rado's psychoanalytic theories.From 1922 until 1933, Rado published only seven papers on psychoanalysis. Apparently he felt restrained by his editorialship and did not want to appear too critical of Freud's psychoanalytic theories. This may be one of the reasons why Rado's contribution has been so slim, but Swerdloff, a fellow faculty member at the Psychoanalytic Clinic for Training and Research, which Rado ultimately directed, comments that Rado's personality was his own worst enemy. One of Rado's students, William Galen, succinctly puts it, “He was impatient, intolerant, exciting, explosive, insatiable, exasperating.” However, then Galen goes on to say, “He was never pompous and never a bore” (p. 4). Thus, Rado's personality was not only his own worst enemy, but it made it difficult for even his admirers to become his friends.The book ends with a critique of Radovian psychoanalytic theory, as revealed in Rado's 1956 two volume publication of the Psychoanalysis of Behavior. The English psychoanalyst Glover concludes “there is some consolation in the thought that by adopting the term Adaptional Psychodynamics, Rado has afforded both the general reader and the psychoanalytic student a simple means of distinguishing it finally and irrevocably from psychoanalysis.” This opinion generally prevails among Freudian psychoanalysts today, except that there is still no consensus as to exactly how psychoanalysis can be defined. Forty years later there does prevail the old cliche that “Even if I can't define it, I will always recognize it when I see it.” Perhaps now that psychoanalysis has lost much of its patina, as Rado would say, we can give up the poetry of the libido theory and address the scientific perspective of motivational analysis of behavior.Russell R. Monroe, M.D.

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