ABOUT THIS BOOK
Smith Ely Jelliffe (1866-1945) was a distinguished American physician who became one of the first psychoanalysts in the world. This book, an account of his life and times, also includes his unpublished and hiterto unknown correspondence with Sigmund Freud and C. G. Jung, a correspondence of nearly thirty years which continued long after the historic break between Freud and Jung. John Burnham, a well-known historian of medicine and psychoanalysis, and William McGuire, the executive editor of Jung's collected works, have based this book on the recently discovered Jelliffe papers, an important collection once believed to have been lost in a fire.
Jelliffe's colorful and versatile career led him from botany and neurology (he was coauthor of a neurology text that remained standard for some forty years) to psychiatry, psychoanalysis (of which he was a founding father in the United States), and psychosomatic medicine (in which he also pioneered). Jelliffe also made outstanding contributions to medical journalism. With William Alanson White he founded the Psychoanalytic Review, and his work as editor of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease from 1902 to 1944 may have set a record for editorial longevity. Jelliffe was a charismatic speaker and teacher who in all his roles induced physicians and other thinkers to explore new ideas and ways of thinking.
Jelliffe's correspondence with Jung and Freud illuminates the personal and professional lives of the three men. The letters help to clarify concepts in both the Jungian and Freudian schools. The shifting emphasis of Jelliffe's relationships with the two masters of psychoanalysis—first when the two were colleagues, then for the greater span of time when they were rivals and adversaries—is revealing of Jenlliffe's own flexible views.
Jelliffe, furthermore, provides insights into the history of medicine and medical institutions and customs through Jelliffe's frank accounts of the developing medical profession in America. Jelliffe describes, for example, what it was like for a young M.D. to set up an economically viable practice in the 1890s. In addition, Burnham explores the problem of measuring the influence of a man like Jelliffe upon the history of ideas and institutions.