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Jung: A Very Short Introduction
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Jung: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #40)

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  561 ratings  ·  60 reviews
This is the most lucid and timely introduction to the thought of Carl Gustav Jung available to date. Though he was a prolific writer and an original thinker of vast erudition, Jung lacked a gift for clear exposition, and his ideas are less widely appreciated than they deserve to be. Now, in this extremely accessible introduction, Anthony Stevens--one of Britain's foremost ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Oxford Paperbacks (first published March 3rd 1994)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,142)
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Glenn Russell

I have enjoyed a dozen books in the ‘Very Short Introduction’ series but I must say this one on Jung is the best I’ve come across. You will not find a clearer presentation of the life and psychology of Carl Jung. Quite an accomplishment since Jung’s approach to the psyche and therapy is revolutionary and multifaceted. Since the subjects covered in this short introduction are so rich in content, for the purposes of this review, here are a few quotes along with my comments, starting with Jung’s br
Riku Sayuj
Does not succeed in representing Jung’s notoriously disorganized work in a coherent fashion. Instead this VSI is content with being a maximally shortened summary of Jung’s autobiography (Memories, Dreams, Reflections). The later chapters dedicated to the character types are cursory and, to be honest, wikipedia does a better job. Read Jung's Map of the Soul by Murray Stein instead for a better concise introduction.
made me wish he was my grandpa
Harlan Vaughn
The sentences and phrases are so clear and easy to understand, which is a feat considering the density of the subject matter. The initial chapters about Jung's history were a little dry, but I was deeply curious about that part of his life, especially about his friendship slash "daddy complex" with Freud. It really gave a lot of insight to how his practice developed in his later life.

The "good stuff" here are the breakdowns of the complex psychological concepts. Anyone interested in psychology,
A tightly written, comprehensive overview of Jung's ideas and biography. Stevens managed to connect how Jung's biography influenced the development of his ideas and how influential those ideas have been. Stevens' survey of Jung's relationship with Freud is interesting and balanced, as is his refutation of the anti-semitism charges that have floated around Jung since before the second world war.

Now after all that praise, I would suggest that Jung is a book without a really strong audience. The bo
Despre viața lui Carl Gustav Jung s-a scris destul (vezi, de exemplu, impresionanta biografie semnată de Deirdre Bair și apărută la noi în 2011 la Editura Trei). De asemenea, și despre psihanaliza jungiană s-a scris mult și bine (vezi volumele unor discipoli devotați ca Jolande Jacobi sau Aniela Jaffe; despre volumul lui Gerhard Wehr, alt pasionat de Jung, am scris la Bookaholic).

Anthony Stevens, analist din școala jungiană, absolvent de Oxford, s-a încumetat, la rându-i, să scrie despre acest s
This is an excellent introduction to Jung's work and makes his project as a whole much more clear. Before reading this text, I wasn't much interested in what he was doing and saw it as very much nonsense--as that was the impression I'd been given by my academic mentors and teachers; however, this couldn't be more incorrect. Not only does he make much sense out of the problems of Freud (e.g. everything cannot be reduced to sex; complexes are created out of societal notions/archetypes; the analyst ...more
I wanted an overview of "Jung" highlights and this was a decent book to get it. Jung is an INFJ - the same personality type as me - yet we differ greatly on our opinion of the most fundamental thing in life. For Jung, it is the Self, or Individuation, that leads to one's highest illumination in life. For me, it is Christ, and while this remains a work in progress for all professing Christians, Christians are called to die to Self. These ideas are fundamentally opposed. Jungian psychology is a ki ...more
Malinda Lee
For anyone interested in the roots of Jungian psychoanalysis, this is a wonderful book - very easy to follow with lots of excerpts from Jung's primary works. The book handily serves as a concise primer for anyone interested in tackling those (much more difficult) primary works. I subtracted one star, only because the author is such an unapologetic Jungian that I'm not fully convinced he presented an objective analysis of the arguments made by Jung's detractors. But, on the other hand, he was ver ...more
FOURTH Reading:
Well, I change my mind. Minus Jung's own psychosis, mad ravings about God and religion, I think there really is something unique and fascinating in his outlook of the psyche. Although I don't myself espouse, or even normally 'think' in a Jungian perspective, nevertheless this is but another alternative way of making sense and meaning of one's life. And again, like Freudian psychoanalysis, Jungian analysis is way better3x than any organized Religion (e.g. Vatican corporation, Born
Interesting read and lives up to the title of the book, although anyone looking for a light read might be disappointed. The book describes the circumstances of Jung's life, friendship and professional relationship with Freud as well as their falling out due to Jung's original idea of the collective unconscious and unwillingness to lockstep march with Freud's ideas.

Another section covers Jung's concepts as it pertains to analytical psychology including the 5 main Jungian archetypes: Self, Shadow
Such an interesting character.

The book provided a good intro to Jung's life and work. Sometimes the book presented somewhat involved psychological analysis of Jung's psyche -- these weren't my favorite parts.

It was intriguing to learn that Jung looked at alchemy as a source of inspiration for his views on psychology and his method for analysis. I guess I was disappointed to learn this. I had hoped that his method (and psychology in general) would be a more scientific one. I couldn't see any auth
Jean Poulos
I have a friend who is a Jungian scholar who is writing a book on some aspect of Jung. When I saw this short book I jumped at it, thinking I could learn a bit about Jung so I would not feel so stupid when we get together. The only thing I knew about Jung was what I had read back in 1971 when I read Irving Stone’s “The Passions of the Mind” about the life of Sigmund Freud. Stone is the master of the biographical novel. The book on Freud was fascinating. The author of this book is Dr. Anthony Stev ...more
John Wiswell
An excellent introduction or resource for the theories of Carl Jung. It begins with his life and the famous events of his childhood, like willing himself to be sick and then willing his own cure. Once the narrative passes into the stage of his life when he worked with Sigmund Freud it breaks up into Jung’s theories. It covers the Anima/Animus sexuality drive, interpretation of dreams, shades of personalities, religious interpretations, archetype theories and symbolism theories. By framing itself ...more
A just-right introduction to this series by Oxford University Press, although I was tempted to see if Greer's VSI on Shakespeare would have anything new to say on an already familiar topic. Stevens' Jung was fascinating, especially as his psychoanalysis is just one of the many brilliant insights into what seems like a vastly complex and some would say indecipherable mind like Jung's. Not only will readers have a better sense of who they are, and what archetypal influences shape them into individ ...more
A very neat and accessible compilation of the key concepts of Carl Jung, who was among the most influential thinkers of Psychological and healing sciences. The book was not reductive in its nature as it talked about the questions posed on the theories of Jung and their possible rebuttals or answers. So it is an objectively oriented guide,almost free of dogma.
Daniel Aguilar
Really enjoyable introduction to Jung, the man and his contribution to psychology and philosophy. Before reading it I knew almost nothing about the subject other than his work as a continuation of Freud's psychoanalytic theory and his idea of the collective unconscious. Probably the contents of this book will be too basic for other readers already acquainted with the topic, but for me it was just perfect. I found Jung's theory and life fascinating by itself, but I also equally enjoyed the style ...more
M Pereira
This is an excellent introduction, perhaps the finest of the VSI series that I've read so far (even better than the one on Philosophy of Science!). This work is readable, it passes easy like a novel, and yet it also addresses key Jung concepts. There is something profound about Jung's perspective and the mind, and it has really captured my imagination and my curiosity. I will need to make a note to myself: read some Jung. I think it will be more enjoyable than my foray into Freud.

I liked how the
The Shadow and archtype chapters were interesting; that is to say basically the first 1/2 of the book. I skimmed the last three though (specifically the one about dreams and whether or not Jung was anti-Semitic). I did learn about Jung though--before I return the book to the library I'm going to have to type up notes of certain passages so that I don't completely forget everything. I thought it was especially interesting how the autor chose to make all these parallels between Jung's theories and ...more
Abner Rosenweig
Covers a lot of ground, always compelling. Great for those new to Jung or those wanting a refreshing survey of his life's work and its significance. A perfect introductory balance of basic information while whetting your appetite for more.
Jack Harrison
My mom is obsessed with Jungian psychoanalysis and I've been hearing about it in bits and pieces for my entire life so I thought this would be an interesting book to get a better handle on the subject.
&, it certainly served its purpose in that way although I felt uncomfortable in several passages when the author slipped between writing a book about Jung and writing from a Jungian perspective. The material was interesting, though, and although I'm unsure about all the universalities (which I
A book that does exactly what it says on the cover. Anthony Stevens has done a fantastic job of explaining this fascinating man's life and theories. From his friendship then rivalry with Freud to his brief descent into madness himself. His theories on dreams and second personalities are truly intriguing to read and Stevens has put them into easily managed chunks that really get your mind racing. A truly engaging read that has left me wanting to know more about Jung and his works.
The short intro
Kamalia Ramlan
untuk faham orang, kita kena masuk dalam dunia mereka, rasa apa yang mereka rasa dan berada dalam kasut mereka. itu yang aku belajar daripada Jung. Jung mengalami perasaan tersisih dan tak ramai yang faham apa yang dia rasa, dan sebab itu dia menganggap pesakit-pesakitnya juga sebagai rakan.

This is the book I would recommend to anyone who wants a concise introduction to Jung's ideas. Informative and well written. It really helped to clarify some ideas about Jung that had long eluded me. Especially the stuff on the Archtypes and the Collective Unconscious.

(Looking at Archtypes as being comparable to the instinctual imprinting of say, a duck imprinting on the first thing it sees as its mother, and other principles of ethnobiology)

In a couple of places the author loses track of seemin
Very good introduction. Clarified some things for me about Jung.
Carlos Burga
Steven’s introduction to Jung was simply marvelous. I thoroughly enjoyed the connections that he made to Jung’s life experiences and their impact on their theories. Similarly I was fascinated by the theories proposed by Jung, which although definitely being impacted by Freud’s ideas, were radically different and completely innovative. The introduction was a pleasure to read and had the most helpful list of “further reading” books for Jung’s ideas. I would recommend it to anyone who was even mild ...more
This was on the shelf when I was looking for Memories, Dreams & Reflections but that had already been checked out. And this was a perfect precurser to picking that up again as it gives a brief but solid overview of Jung's life and ideas. I got a better idea of the dynamic between Jung and Frued, and the inevitability of their break, as well as information about his marriage that I hadn't known. A majority of this material seems to be drawn from Memories, Dreams & Reflections and Jung's C ...more
Nikita Petrov
Very clear, brief introduction to Jung's ideas and biography.
Lila Lamrabet
A very tightly written and concise introduction, as promised.
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“The need to create a citadel in which to hide from the world is characteristic of people with a schizoid disposition” 2 likes
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