Edith Jacobsons ärztliche und psychoanalytische Ausbildung absolvierte sie in der Weimarer Republik, für deren gesellschaftliche Aufbrüche und politische Umbrüche sie ein feines Sensorium besaß. Ihr historisches und politische Interesse verbindet Jacobson mit dem Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus. 1935 wurde sie in Berlin verhaftet, des Hochverrats angeklagt und verurteilt; 1938 gelang ihr die spektakuläre Flucht nach Amerika. Neben Archivmaterialien verarbeitet dieses Buch auch Selbstzeugnisse Jacobsons, wie Briefe, Gedichte und autobiografische Texte, sowie ihre Aufzeichnungen, die sie im Gefängnis gemacht hat. Edith Jacobson stammte aus Schlesien und starb in New York; in ihrem Leben und Werk verbindet sich die Freudsche Psychoanalyse der Berliner 20er und 30er Jahre mit der New Yorker Tradition nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg. Ihre ärztliche und psychoanalytische Ausbildung absolvierte sie in der Weimarer Republik, für deren gesellschaftliche Aufbrüche und politische Umbrüche sie ein feines Sensorium besaß. Ihr historisches und politische Interesse verband Jacobson mit dem Widerstand gegen den Nationalsozialismus. 1935 wurde sie in Berlin verhaftet, des Hochverrats angeklagt und verurteilt; 1938 gelang ihr die spektakuläre Flucht nach Amerika. Anfang der 40er Jahre wurde sie Mitglied und Lehranalytikerin der New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, als erste europäische Frau stand sie Mitte der 1950er Jahre dieser renommierten Gesellschaft vor. Psychoanalytiker kennen Jacobson vornehmlich aus ihrer Arbeit mit schwer gestörten und depressiven Patienten. Neben Archivmaterialien verarbeitet dieses Buch auch Selbstzeugnisse Jacobsons, wie Briefe, Gedichte und autobiografische Texte, sowie ihre Aufzeichnungen, die sie im Gefängnis gemacht hat. "Psychoanalyst and physician, born 10 September, 1897 in Haynau, Germany and died on 8 December, 1978 in Rochester, New York. Edith Jacobson's father was a doctor and her mother an excellent musician with a talent for languages. She attended Medical School at Jena, Heidelberg, and Munich, and received her medical degree from Munich in 1922. From 1922 to 1925 she was an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at the Munich University Hospital and a pediatric intern at the University Hospital in Heidelberg. She traced her interest in psychoanalysis to this period when she observed childhood sexuality. In 1925 she was accepted for training by the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. Her training analysis, which was with Otto Fenichel, lasted from 1925-29; during this period she also participated in "Das Kinder Seminar." In 1930 Jacobson became a member of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society and in 1934 she was named a Training Analyst at the Berlin Institute. After the Nazis rose to power she left Berlin for Copenhagen, but against the advice of friends returned to Germany to help a patient (Kronold:505). She was later imprisoned for refusing to divulge information about the patient to the Gestapo. After serving two years of a three-year sentence she was hospitalized because she was seriously ill with Graves disease and diabetes. Eventually she was transferred to a hospital in Leipzig and in 1938, with the help of her close friend Annie Reich, and Reich's second husband, she escaped from Germany. After first settling in Prague she emigrated to the United States. She became a member of the New York Psychoanalytic Society and Institute, and from 1942 served as a Training Analyst and Teacher. From 1954 to 1956 she was President of the New York Psychoanalytic Society. She enjoyed teaching and supervising candidates, and was regarded as an outstanding clinician.Jacobson's work was stimulated by Karl Abraham's interest in object relations (1971:20), and during her years in Berlin she also learned a great deal from the child analysts Steffi and Berta Bornstein. Later she was influenced by Heinz Hartmann and by discussions with Ernst Kris, with whom she felt a great deal in common. One of the factors prompting her to investigate depression, which was her central clinical preoccupation, was personal: during World War I her father suffered seriously from this affliction.Jacobson's first paper (1930) explored the superego of a latency child with a phobia and stammer, and displayed an interest which was to prove lasting. The investigation of ego and superego functioning, the processes of identification underlying their development, and their role in depression remained central to her theoretical and clinical work. She went on to construct an overarching developmental perspective which sought to do justice both to drives and to real objects and their representations in the building up of the ego and superego. Jacobson and Heinz Hartmann introduced the concept of self-representation into psychoanalytic theory. She acknowledges that Hartmann was the first to use it in print, but records that she had employed it for some years because she found it indispensable for the investigation of affective and psychotic disorders (1954:85). She was particularly interested in the fate of self-representations in depressive and psychotic illness, and her clinical work with depressive and borderline patients greatly enriched her theorizing. During the 1930s Jacobson wrote only some half-dozen papers, probably because of the political turmoil and her own political activities during the period. However one of these works, "Ways of Superego Formation and the Female Castration Conflict" (1937), offered a novel perspective on the development of the female superego. It linked the independence and strength of the superego in women to their genital self-esteem. Females who renounce their own genital after discovering they lack a penis are more dependent on the approval of their love objects, and Freud's description of the feminine superego is applicable to them. But when the little girl believes that she possesses an equally valuable genital of her own, her superego formation is much more successful. While Jacobson wrote this paper during her imprisonment by the Nazis, her prison experience is explored more directly in "Observations on the Psychological Effects of Imprisonment on Female Political Prisoners" which did not appear until 1949. Here she draws on her own experience of depersonalization, and reports that in psychologically normal persons imprisonment brought a resurgence of the instinctual and psychological vicissitudes of adolescence.Jacobson's main theoretical text is The Self and the Object World (1964), an expansion of a 1954 paper of the same name. Her point of departure is the clinical observation that in psychotic and borderline patients processes of regression lead to severe deterioration of object relations, ego functions, and superego structure and function. This is accompanied by dissolution of the essential identifications on which the experience of identity is founded. Her goal is to contribute to the understanding of this pathology by investigating "the normal developmental processes which build up the cathexes of the self and of the object world with libidinous, aggressive, and neutralized drive energy in the course of structural differentiation" (1954:75). Jacobson's work has been described as "the first attempt to trace, within a strictly psychoanalytic framework, the development of the self . . . . and its mental representations" (Tuttman:81-2). She is the first theorist to attempt to integrate drive theory with structural and object relations theory in a comprehensive, developmental synthesis, and her influence on subsequent work in this area has been profound. Some of the clinical and theoretical issues investigated in The Self and the Object World were further explored in Psychotic Conflict and Reality (1967). Drawing on rich clinical material Jacobson demonstrates how some psychotic patients attempt to use the external world to prevent a dissolution of their ego and superego structures and a regressive dedifferentiation and disintegration that would threaten them with a manifest psychotic breakdown (1967:19). Her collected papers, Depression: Comparative Studies of Normal, Neurotic, and Psychotic Conditions, many clinical in nature, permit the reader to follow the development of Jacobson's thinking over the years. The opening chapter, however, is new. In it Jacobson notes that psychoanalysis lacks a satisfactory theory of affects, and discusses the issues pertinent to one." Nellie L. Thompson, Ph.D.