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Jung: A Very Short Introduction

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,938 ratings  ·  196 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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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
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
Riku Sayuj
May 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: jung, psychology, vsis
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
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
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it
made me wish he was my grandpa
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
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
Apr 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Was an extremely fun read and managed to present jungs ideas as concisely and clearly as possible
Sumit Ghosh
Mar 22, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanna be Jung.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, psychology
A short biography followed by a great introduction to Jung. I understood more about Jung's ideas from this than I did from actually reading Jung's own works. ...more
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,
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. ...more
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.
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.

Aug 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Delivers what it promises.
Michael A.
Jun 22, 2018 rated it it was ok

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
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
Sep 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book provided me of new insights in psychiatry and in a different point of view of how to treat patients with psychiatric disorders. The most important information which I will remember for my own specialization will be Jung's idea that psychiatric diseases should not be seen as something negative, but as an opportunity for personal development. ...more
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
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
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I have read the oxford short series. Some short books! This is my most favourite so far!

Anthony is biased! Pure biased! He’s taking full blown side of his idol, inspiration and psychological mentor. And this is the sole reason he’s been able to write such a great, interesting and exciting introduction to a profound psychologist.

Its a shame that The West has only just started giving praise to psychology in last century and such huge figures are being underrated.

Consider Jung to psychology in wh
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. ...more
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 50book-2021
For the rest of his life Jung was preoccupied with the dynamics of personal transformation and growth. He was one of the few psychologists if the twentieth century to maintain that development extends beyond childhood and adolescence through mid-life and into old age. It was this lifelong developmental process that he called individuation, and he believed that it could be brought to its highest fruition if one. worked with and confronted the unconscious in the manner he had discovered in the cou ...more
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
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I invited Jung into bed with me one unassuming Saturday night, through Stevens’ introduction, and quickly realized I was never kicking him out.
Mikey Novotny
Spends an entire chapter musing on whether Jung was pro-Nazi or not. Besides that, an interesting primer into the life and analytical psychology theories of Jung.
Like Jung himself, alot of it can seem wishy-washy and speculative, however, when you deep-dive into the wealth of material, there is some measure of esoteric learning to be had.
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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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