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

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  932 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Anthony Stevens argues that Jung's visionary powers and profound spirituality have helped many to find an alternative set of values to the arid materialism prevailing in Western society. This concise introduction explains clearly the basic concepts of Jungian psychology: the collective unconscious; complex; archetype; shadow; persona; anima; animus; and the individuation o ...more
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Published November 1st 2003 by Naxos AudioBooks (first published March 1994)
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Glenn Russell
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vsis, psychology, 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.
Jun 15, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
made me wish he was my grandpa
Harlan Vaughn
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sherif Nagib
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مشكلة كارل يونج الكبرى (اللي هو نفسه كان معترف بيها) إن كتاباته ضخمة جداً وصعبة، وماينفعش الواحد يدخل عليها بنفسه مباشرة. ومن الأفضل إن الواحد يتقرب لها بالقراءة عنها وعنه من ناس درسته وفهمته. الكتاب جيد جداً في محاولة تلخيص حياة وعلم كارل يونج، بالطبع لا يمكن اتهام كتاب عنوانه "مقدمة قصيرة" بالاختزال أو الكروَتة. كان لازم يكروت ويجيب من الآخر. بس مشكلتي إنه ضيع فصل كامل في الدفاع عن اتهام كارل يونج بمعاداة السامية. وكان أفضل لو خصص الصفحات دي لحاجات تانية مهمة عدى عليها بسرعة قوي.

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

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 Jungian analysts--clearly explains the basic c
Nov 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jean Poulos
Nov 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-audio, biography
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
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Riley Haas
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
M. Ashraf
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Justin Drew
Although this is a short book and many in this series are excellent, I found this really difficult to follow. It might be a short book but I found it a long slog. However, perhaps that is what Jung is all about. I have a good friend who's been greatly inspired by his teaching and writings, and perhaps I might need another source but I found it all a little bit bonkers.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My takeaway - a spoiler from the back of the book: "What he refused to tolerate was the prevalent fallacy of scientism - the denial of everything that is not susceptible to a scientific explanation. He preferred to give due weight to those irrational, acausal experiences which science declines to consider worthy of its attention."
Ana Rotea
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
O bună cunoaștere (și apreciere) a lui Jung + stilul clar de redare a ideilor selectate = excelentă popularizare pentru animus/anima, arhetip, inconștient colectiv și alte concepte psihologice marca Jung. Cartea nu se vrea a fi un tratat exhaustiv, asta e clar, dar pentru (aproape) profani ca mine a fost o lectura plăcută și iluminatoare.
Cassidy Gan
This book is a great simplified book to Jung and his ideas. Unfortunately, I have read few other Jung's book and found this book to be a lesser significance. If you're new to Jung and is interested in his life and philosophical views, this introductory book just might be a good start for you.
Lisa Parrott
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Concise and clear. Appreciate the recommended reading list at the back.
Duncan Rice
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meaty but still accessible to us uninitiated types.
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
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
John Wiswell
Jun 15, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Khash Chamlou
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words are words and point to concepts. With some exceptions, the beauty behind these philosophers are often now how they communicate but what they are trying to communicate (notable exceptions are the Nietzsches and David Humes) which is why someone like Anthony Stevens is invaluable, making Jung's ideas accessible to the general public. There is no honor in trying to grapple with the language of bad writers (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Heidegger), just a necessity for the curious.

This book delivered the
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
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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
More about Anthony Stevens...

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“If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely,” 3 likes
“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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