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Makari, George 1960- (George Jack Makari)

Makari, George 1960- (George Jack Makari)

PERSONAL:

Born July 9, 1960, in Plainfield, NJ; son of Jack George and Odette Makari; married Arabella Ogilvie, October 7, 1989. Education: Brown University, B.A., 1982; Cornell University, M.D., 1987; Columbia University, psychoanalytic certification, 1997.

ADDRESSES:

Home—New York, NY. Office—Weill Medical College, Cornell University, 525 E. 68th St., P.O. Box 140, New York, NY 10065. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

New York Hospital, New York, NY, resident psychiatrist, 1987-91, Reader's Digest research fellow, 1991-94, assistant professor, 1994-99, associate professor of psychiatry, beginning 1999. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, director of Institute for the History of Psychiatry. Faculty member, Center for Psychoanalytic Teaching and Research, Columbia University, 1998; visiting associate professor, Rockefeller University, 2002.

MEMBER:

American Psychiatric Association.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Essay awards, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 1994, 1997; Lionel Ovesey award, 1997.

WRITINGS:

Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis, Harper (New York, NY), 2008.

Contributor of articles to journals, including International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Journal of the American Psychoanalytical Association. Coeditor, Cornell Studies in the History of Psychiatry.

SIDELIGHTS:

Cornell University professor of psychiatry George Makari is both a graduate and a faculty member of that Ivy League school. He earned his M.D. degree from the university in 1987, joined the staff of New York Hospital (where he teaches as an associate professor), and returned to Cornell to direct the Institute for the History of Psychiatry. In 1997 he completed psychoanalytic training at Columbia University's Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. He is also a member of the center's faculty.

Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis is a history of the origins of psychiatry. Beginning with Sigmund Freud and the Viennese school in the late nineteenth century, Revolution in Mind continues up to World War II and the mid-twentieth century, tracing changes in the understanding of how people think. "Makari acknowledges that there have been many books written about the founders of psychoanalysis," wrote historian Terry Golway in his New York Post review. "His brilliant innovation is to synthesize this story of ideas and theories, and locate giants like Freud, his acolytes and his critics in their cultural and political context." At the time Freud was evolving his ideas, Vienna was the capital of a great Austro-Hungarian empire—an empire that was undergoing a radical shift in self-image. By the time the empire dissolved under the stresses of World War I, many Austrian intellectuals had already decided their homeland was diseased and required the political equivalent of a medical purge to survive. Freud's ideas about thought and the mind gave these intellectuals a theoretical concept on which to base their own ideas for reform of the state.

In the early twentieth century Freud's ideas gave birth to an astounding variety of concepts of mind all over Europe, all of which, according to Makari, had their roots solidly in Freud's Vienna. "Makari shows the ferment of discussion and revision at the Wednesday Psychological Society, the sounding-board for Freud's theories, which started in 1902 as a small group of colleagues meeting for discussions at his house, and expanded into the huge Vienna Psychoanalytical Society, which lasted till the Anschluss in 1938," stated Guardian contributor Jane O'Grady. "Here members would offer papers and discuss Freud's theories, and were liable to be trounced or excommunicated by Freud, only to find later that choice parts of their rejected revisions had been incorporated into his own revised model." As a result, according to Gilbert Taylor in his Booklist review, "schools of variant theoretical casts sprouted in Vienna, Zurich, and Berlin." "In Zurich," George Prochnik wrote in the New York Times Book Review, "Carl Jung and Paul Eugen Bleuler compiled clinical data that buttressed aspects of psychoanalytic theory for which there had previously been no hard evidence. In Budapest, Sandor Ferenczi explored the dynamic between analyst and patient. In each instance, Freud took notice, collaborated with his colleagues—then moved on after a messy split that enabled him to co-opt the best of his rivals and break fresh ground."

Freud's tendency toward intellectual plagiarism helped alienate him from some of the best and greatest of his pupils. "Freudians could sometimes be intellectually insular and sectlike," explained a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "resulting in the expulsion of Alfred Adler and C.G. Jung." "Makari's story portrays Freud as a complex, driven, troubled, egotistical visionary," Dean Christopher declared in Discovery, "intent on establishing a legitimate new science but also a canny politician lusting for fame and success." E. James Lieberman concluded in Library Journal that "this new history is essential for large general libraries and collections in psychology and Western culture."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Atlantic Monthly, May 1, 2008, review of Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis, p. 102.

Booklist, January 1, 2008, Gilbert Taylor, review of Revolution in Mind, p. 23.

Discover, February 1, 2008, Dean Christopher, "Shrinks Gone Wild," p. 72.

Financial Times Weekend, March 29-30, 2008, Lisa Appiganesi, "Freud: Fraud or Genius?"

First Things: A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life, April 1, 2008, "The Hold That Freud and Freudianism Have on the Minds of Many Intellectuals Is a Cause of Continuing Wonder," p. 63.

Guardian (London, England), March 1, 2008, Jane O'Grady, "The Law of Unintended Consequences."

JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, July 8, 2008, Elaine Cotlove, review of Revolution in Mind, pp. 221-222.

Library Journal, December 1, 2007, E. James Lieberman, review of Revolution in Mind, p. 138.

New York Post, January 6, 2008, Terry Golway, "Mind over Mother: How Mental Health Took a Freudian Trip."

New York Times Book Review, January 20, 2008, George Prochnik, "Freud's Family Tree."

Publishers Weekly, November 26, 2007, review of Revolution in Mind, p. 42.

Times Literary Supplement, July 18, 2008, Andrew Scull, review of Revolution in Mind, pp. 22-23.

ONLINE

Book Culture Blog,http://bookculture.wordpress.com/ (August 16, 2008), "Q&A with George Makari."

Weill Cornell Physicians Web site,http://www.cornellphysicians.com/ (August 16, 2008), author profile.

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