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Jung: A Very Short Introduction

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,638 ratings  ·  152 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 7th 2001 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 1994)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,638 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
Jung: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #40), Anthony Stevens

Originally published: 1994. Part of the Past Masters series, this book provides a concise introduction to the basic concepts of analytical psychology revealing how they arose directly from the life and personality of their originator, Carl Gustav Jung.

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 eru
...more
Glenn Russell
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing

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
...more
Riku Sayuj
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology, vsis, jung
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. ...more
Philippe
I tremendously enjoyed this lucid and compact introduction to Jung’s ideas. Much of this was hitherto unknown to me as I was led to believe that Jung was a bit of a crackpot. Not any longer. As a result of reading this book I’ve added him to my personal pantheon of ‘all-time great system thinkers’. I started with the audiobook (expertedly narrated by Tim Pigott-Smith), then switched to the e-reader version as I wanted to add my own notes, and finally also purchased a printed version for my libra ...more
Aral
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
made me wish he was my grandpa
Lukasz Pruski
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
"'My life is the story of the self-realization of the unconscious.'"
(The first sentence of C.G. Jung's autobiography, quoted by A. Stevens)

About a month ago I allowed myself to make fun of the inanities produced by a certain Dr. Freud, who projected his own sexual complexes and hang-ups onto the entire mankind and, even worse, womankind. So I searched for a text about psychology that I could read without bewilderment at the vagaries of a supposedly scientific mind. Jung (1994) by Anthony Stevens
...more
Rashid Saif
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
What got me interested in Jung and psychoanalysis was the whole Jordan Peterson craze; with the popularity of his book 12 Rules for Life I thought I would check him out. I saw a lecture he gave where he was describing the Disney movie Pinnochio through the lens of Jungian Archetypal Theory and I thought that was an interesting approach. I was apprehensive of Peterson because he wrote a self-help book (it's a personal prejudice) and I tend to mistrust popular intellectuals, but I thought it would ...more
Sumit Ghosh
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-college
I wanna be Jung.
Harlan Vaughn
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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,
...more
Maan Kawas
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
A excellent book about the sophisticated and complex ideas and tenets of Carl Jung's 'Analytical Psychology'. I enjoyed it but I need to read more about the archetypes, the individuation process, and active imagination. I recommend as a good start for beginners.
David
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
4 stars on the “simple intro” scale. But this is a nice overview for sure. Answers a lot of the lazy critiques of Jung and persuasively sketches why his thinking still matters.
Filipe
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title does not lie. This book is a concise and very short introduction to Jung.
It touches, at first, his life and then his ideas.
It serves as a quick glimpse into one of the greatest minds that ever existed.

Michael A.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
2/5

Scattered remarks:

Stevens says: "The specious idea that gender differences are due entirely to culture, and have nothing to do with biological or archetypal predispositions, still enjoys wide currency in our society, yet it rests on the discredited tabula rasa theory of human development and is at variance with the overwhelming mass of anthropological and scientific evidence." What evidence? He cites none. Also, does anti-essentialism necessarily entail tabula rasa?

Then he says: "Virtually e
...more
Kent
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this. It has changed my life and worldview. I'm totally on board. I bought Memories, Dreams, Refelctions by Carl Jung and I look forward to the reading experience. Learning about Carl Jung and the theories of individuation and archetypes and spiritual wholeness has totally reawakened my spiritual life. It's a spirituality I can totally gel with. Jung was such a special guy. He kept popping up on my radar in other books and music and movies and I finally decided to find out why this man ke ...more
Joshua
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Jessica
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW!
M. Ashraf
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vsi
This is a very good VSI, one of the best of the series so far, it conveyed Carl Jung his life, works, accomplishments and why he is shunned.
Though it started in a weird situations in his early life it progressed quit good with his first work with Eugen Bueler and later with Sigmund Freud and the rift between them. His relationship with his wife and mistress. His concepts of Individualism and the Self, ego, shadow which I find very interesting! the parts about alchemy were :/ and the anti-Semitis
...more
Johannes
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I cannot experience myself as a scientific problem. Myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than does science. Science comes to a stop at the frontiers of logic, but nature does not. She thrives on ground as yet untrodden by theory.

I read this in preparation for reading Jung's "Man and His Symbols," at some later point. Although this introduction really was "very short" at just 200 pages, it was packed with biographical information and introduced his major theories on archetype
...more
Daniel Wright
Defensive and insufficiently critical.

Chapter 1: The man and his Psychology
Chapter 2: Archetypes and the collective unconscious
Chapter 3: The stages of life
Chapter 4: Psychological types
Chapter 5: Dreams
Chapter 6: Therapy
Chapter 7: Jung's alleged anti-Semitism
Chapter 8: The summing-up
Ian Stewart
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Definitely worth reading if the title is what you’d like. I feel like Jung and the origins of analysis are less of a mystery now. I was surprised to find out that there is some scientific evidence now for some of Jung’s conjecture about consciousness, how much actually was conjecture, and how against the grain it was when he was developing it.
Laurie Allee
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great, fairly detailed introduction to (or refresher of) Jung's life and work.
Nv
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was looking at the list of 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century (which I duly went on to memorize because that's the purpose of a list apparently) and was surprised to see Jung at 23. I asked a psych friend why that might be the case, given he's one of the 2 most famous psychs. (Freud is ranked 3 on the list, so it's not as shocking), and it seemed to me that the list was biased towards experimental psych rather than analytical psych which might be more akin to philosophy. I did ...more
Guy
Oct 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Jean
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, 2013-audio
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
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
Anthony
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
...more
William Schram
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Jung by Anthony Stevens is an attempt to condense the writings of Carl Gustav Jung into a package compact enough to almost fit in your pocket. It seems to be some kind of series that I had not heard of called “Brief Insights.” The book is split into eight chapters. The first chapter discusses his life. The second chapter through the seventh chapter discusses his work, and the final chapter discusses the overarching theme and brings it all together.

It’s pretty good. Although they had to pare it d
...more
Katrina Sark
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
1 – The Man and His Psychology

p.24 – To Jung, the purpose of life was to realize one’s own potential, to follow one’s own perception of the truth, and to become a whole person in one’s own right. This was the goal of individuation, as he later called it.

p.42 – Ageing and growth – What distinguishes the Jungian approach to developmental psychology from virtually all others is the idea that even in old age we are growing towards realization of our full potential.

For Jung, ageing was not a proces
...more
Riley Haas
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
When I was a teenager, some adult told me about Jung's collective unconscious. I didn't read a thing about it, but took whatever they told me and created my own elaborate theory about our thoughts influencing others (which has nothing to do with Jung). Ultimately, that theory was a responsible for a lot of mental stress on my part. Years later, it feels like a lot of wasted energy.
Since that time, I've wanted to know what he really thought, as I knew, deep down, that I had no idea what the actua
...more
Vidya Das
May 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non_fiction
I appreciate how Stevens has been able to explain to us such complex concepts of Jung’s in astoundingly easy ways with apt examples for each one of them. Jung experienced something profound in his life which made him lonely for there was nobody else he knew who experienced the same. Putting feelings of sadness and other such emotions in a work as small as this command appreciation. There were political troubles and other social issues that Jung got caught into and Stevens made it his task to cle ...more
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Anthony Stevens is a well known Jungian analyst and psychiatrist who has written extensively on psychotherapy and psychology.

Stevens has two degrees in psychology and a doctorate in medicine from Oxford University. He studied for a time under John Bowlby. He is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists. He lectures regularly in the United
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