DoctorM's Reviews > The Passions of the Mind

The Passions of the Mind by Irving Stone
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Sep 03, 2010

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bookshelves: biography

Irving Stone spent a lifetime writing great, huge, ponderous novelised historical biographies. No one has ever accused him of vivid prose or crafting memorable characters. But he's readable, and I grew up reading his biographical novels about Darwin, Schliemann, Michaelangelo, and Freud and finding in them my introductions to places and times and ideas I might otherwise have missed.

I read "Passions of the Mind" in high school--- my first introduction to Freud and to fin-de-siecle Vienna and the Habsburg Monarchy. I was fascinated enough with Vienna and its twilight to ultimately go on to do a PhD based on Habsburg studies, and Stone's account of Freud's life sent me to read about the history of psychoanalysis and ultimately off into critical theory.

This is a slow, ponderous book. But it's a good introduction to Freud and his life, and it's full of period detail and research. For all Stone's failings as a writer, this is a book I remember fondly and one I will recommend here.
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