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Influential Books by Sigmund Freud
Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity, Study.com, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.
Sigmund Freud is one of the most famous figures of the twentieth century. His often controversial ideas had a major impact on the growing field of psychology, and his influence continues to be felt today. In addition to his overarching theories of human psychology, he was also a prolific writer, publishing more than 320 different books, articles, and essays.
The following list represents a selection of the most famous and influential Sigmund Freud books. If you are interested in learning more about Freud and his theories, consider reading a few of his original writings to get a better grasp of Freudian theory directly from the original source.
There are many textbooks that summarize his ideas, but sometimes nothing beats consulting the original writings to gain greater insights and perspectives on his many ideas.
Studies on Hysteria (1895)
" Studies on Hysteria ," or Studien über Hysterie , was co-authored by Freud and his colleague Josef Breuer. The book described their work and study of a number of individuals suffering from hysteria , including one of their most famous cases, a young woman known as Anna O.
"Studies on Hysteria" is one of the most significant Sigmund Freud books because it introduced the use of psychoanalysis as a treatment for mental illness.
The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
" The Interpretation of Dreams " was originally published in German under the title Die Traumdeutung . Freud often identified this book as his personal favorite, and it has gone on to become a perennial classic in the history of psychology.
The book lays out Freud's theory that dreams represent unconscious wishes disguised by symbolism. This book is a must-read if you want to learn more about Freud's approach to dreams and the unconscious mind.
"The Interpretation of Dreams" is considered a classic among Sigmund Freud's books because it served as a foundational text for his theories of psychoanalysis. It laid out many of his ideas on the unconscious, dream interpretation, and the meaning of latent and manifest dream content .
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1901)
" The Psychopathology of Everyday Life ," or Zur Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens , is considered one of the major texts that outline Freud's psychoanalytic theory.
The book takes a closer look at many deviations that occur during everyday life, including forgetting names, slips of the tongue (aka Freudian slips ), and errors in speech and concealed memories. He then analyzes the underlying psychopathology that he believed led to such errors.
If you are looking for a Sigmund Freud book that demonstrates his approach to applying his theories to real life, "The Psychopathology of Everyday Life" is a must-read.
Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905)
" Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality ," or Drei Abhandlungen zur Sexualtheorie , is considered one of Freud's most important works. In these essays, he outlines his theory of psychosexual development and introduces other concepts including the Oedipus complex , penis envy, and castration anxiety.
While modern ideas of human sexuality have evolved beyond Freud's theories, reading this Sigmund Freud book can be a great way to learn more about early psychoanalytic thought and better grasp how attitudes about sexuality have changed in the subsequent years.
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious (1905)
In " Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious ," or Der Witz und seine Beziehung zum Unbewußten , Freud observed how jokes, much like dreams, could be related to unconscious wishes, desires, or memories.
Freud's theory of humor is based on his theory of the id, ego, and superego . According to Freud, the superego allows the ego to generate and express humor.
Freud also suggested that cultivating a sense of humor could play a role in unlocking repressions. However, he also felt that certain types of humor, including self-directed irony and sarcasm, could be potentially harmful.
This book can be an excellent primer on understanding how aspects of Freudian theory can be applied to psychoanalytic thought.
Totem and Taboo (1913)
" Totem and Taboo : Resemblances Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics," or Totem und Tabu: Einige Übereinstimmungen im Seelenleben der Wilden und der Neurotiker , is a collection of four essays that apply psychoanalysis to other fields including religion, anthropology, and archaeology.
"Totem and Taboo" takes an interdisciplinary look at psychoanalysis. It can be a helpful read if you want to learn more about the influence of Freudian theories on other disciplines.
On Narcissism ( 1914)
In On Narcissism , or Zur Einführung des Narzißmus , Freud outlines his theory of narcissism . In the book, he suggests that narcissism is actually a normal part of the human psyche. He referred to this as primary narcissism or the energy that lies behind each person's survival instincts.
"On Narcissism" marks a significant shift in Freud's ideas, focusing more on libidinal energy directed toward the self rather than toward objects. It also marks an exploration in to the origins of narcissism as a personality disorder.
Introduction to Psychoanalysis (1917)
As one of Freud's most famous books, " Introduction to Psychoanalysis " (or Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse ), Freud outlines his theory of psychoanalysis including the unconscious mind, the idea of neuroses, and dreams.
The preface, written by G. Stanley Hall , explains, "These twenty-eight lectures to laymen are elementary and almost conversational. Freud sets forth with a frankness almost startling the difficulties and limitations of psychoanalysis, and also describes its main methods and results as only a master and originator of a new school of thought can do."
"Introduction to Psychoanalysis" is a good overall primer on Freud's approach to psychoanalysis.
Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920)
In " Beyond the Pleasure Principle ," originally published in German as Jenseits des Lustprinzips , Freud explored his theory of instincts in greater depth. Previously, Freud's work identified the libido as the force behind human actions. In this book, he developed a theory of drives motivated by life and death instincts .
In addition to presenting his ideas on life and death instincts, "Beyond the Pleasure Principle" introduced Freud's concept of repetition compulsion . This phenomenon involves people unconsciously repeating traumatic experiences, behaviors, and relationships.
The Future of an Illusion (1927)
In " The Future of an Illusion ," originally published as Die Zukunft einer Illusion , Freud explores religion through a psychoanalytic lens.
He describes his own ideas about the origins and development of religion, and suggests that religion is an illusion made up of "...certain dogmas, assertions about facts and conditions of external and internal reality which tell one something that one has not oneself discovered, and which claim that one should give them credence."
"The Future of an Illusion" presents Freud's ideas about religion and how it is informed by psychoanalytic processes.
Civilization and Its Discontents (1930)
" Civilization and Its Discontents ," or Das Unbehagen in der Kultur , is one of Freud's best known as most widely read books. The book centers on Freud's ideas about the tension between the individual and civilization.
According to Freud, many of our basic desires are at odds with what is best for society, which is why laws prohibiting certain actions are created. The result, he argues, is an ongoing feeling of discontentment among the citizens of that civilization.
This Sigmund Freud book is significant because it explores the inherent tension between individual human desires and the demands of society. The book presents a look at Freud's ideas about how individual's navigate these tensions in order to live in organized societies.
Moses and Monotheism (1939)
In " Moses and Monotheism ," first published in 1937 as Der Mann Moses und die monotheistische Religion , Freud utilizes his psychoanalytic theory to develop hypotheses about events of the past. In this book, he suggests that Moses was not Jewish but was instead an ancient Egyptian monotheist.
This was Freud's final work and perhaps one of his most controversial.
Despite the criticism of Freud's speculative take on history, the book can spark questions about the psychological origins of monotheistic religion.
A Word From Verywell
Freud may not be as dominant of an influence as he was in the past, but being familiar with his work and theories is important if you want to understand psychology's history. College textbooks often supply only a cursory overview of some of his best-known ideas.
If you are interested in taking a closer look at Freud's work, exploring some of his many books can provide a great deal of insight into the ideas that fueled the rise of psychoanalysis.
Dallas Baptist University. Freud. Bibliography (full) .
Halberstadt-Freud HC. Studies on hysteria one hundred years on: a century of psychoanalysis . Int J Psychoanal . 1996;77 ( Pt 5):983-996.
Greenberg R, Pearlman CA. The interpretation of dreams a classic revisited . Psychoanalytic Dialogues . 1999;9(6):749-765. doi:10.1080/10481889909539359
Holmes J. The Psychopathology of Everyday Life , Sigmund Freud - reflection . Br J Psychiatry . 2017;211(2):87. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.117.199281
Swaminath G. ' Joke's A Part': In defence of humour . Indian J Psychiatry . 2006;48(3):177-180. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.31581
Grossman WI. Freud's presentation of 'the psychoanalytic mode of thought' in Totem and taboo and his technical papers . Int J Psychoanal . 1998;79 ( Pt 3):469-486.
Levine HB. The compulsion to repeat: An introduction . Int J Psychoanal . 2020;101(6):1162-1171. doi:10.1080/00207578.2020.1815541
By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."
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Interpretation Of Dreams
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The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-believer
The Ego and the Id (Das Ich und das Es)
The Freud Reader
- Obras Incompletas de Sigmund Freud
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Vorlesungen zur Einführung in die Psychoanalyse
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Die Zukunft einer Illusion
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Jenseits des Lustprinzips
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Totem und Tabu
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The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud
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Books by Freud
Sigmund Freud: Essays and Papers
Interpreting Dreams - Sigmund Freud
Civilization and Its Discontents - Sigmund Freud
On Murder, Mourning and Melancholia - Sigmund Freud
The Penguin Freud Reader
Beyond the Pleasure Principle and Other Writings - Sigmund Freud
Mass Psychology and Other Writings - Sigmund Freud
An Outline of Psychoanalysis - Sigmund Freud
The Uncanny - Sigmund Freud
Leonardo da Vinci: A Memoir of his Childhood - Sigmund Freud
Studies in Hysteria - Sigmund Freud and Joseph Breuer
The 'Wolfman' and Other Cases - Sigmund Freud
The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious - Sigmund Freud
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life - Sigmund Freud
The Unconscious - Sigmund Freud
Wild Analysis - Sigmund Freud
The Interpretation of Dreams - Sigmund Freud
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Sigmund Freud is thought of as founding father of psychoanalysis. Freud’s books have been recommended many times by experts on Five Books.
Freud expert Lisa Appignanesi has recommended books about Sigmund Freud . “Freud is like the weather. He’s everywhere. If you look anywhere in our culture his ideas will appear, even if they’re not named as his ideas. Once you’ve read him, you say to yourself ‘oh that that’s where this has come from,’ even though it may not be publicly stated or cited.”
Books by Sigmund Freud
Civilisation and Its Discontents
By sigmund freud.
Read expert recommendations
“Freud is a very relevant figure to this discussion. The limits of progress are in the flaws and divisions of human nature, which are integral to being human. The way Freud represents this in a number of his works, including Civilisation and Its Discontents , is to say that there are a variety of instincts – a very unpopular term now which may not be scientifically valid – from benevolence and love on the one hand to violence and aggression on the other, which are equally part of the human animal.” Read more...
Critiques of Utopia and Apocalypse
John Gray , Philosopher
Studies in Hysteria
By josef breuer & sigmund freud.
“This was the starting point when people first considered the idea that stress and psychological distress can be ‘converted’ into physical symptoms.” Read more...
The best books on Psychosomatic Illness
Suzanne O'Sullivan , Science Writer
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious
“Humour is a way of allowing for all that we cannot allow ourselves because we are trying so hard to be civilized and good people.” Read more...
The best books on Jewish Humour
Ruth Wisse , Literary Scholar
Mass Psychology and Other Writings
“He writes this paper on group or mass psychology after World War I. It was a time when many writers tried to come to terms with the industrialised mass slaughter and to think about what drove nationalism and militarism in the first place. For Freud, the Great War confirmed some of his own ideas about human destructiveness and repetition. It was viewed as evidence of the power of the irrational. A concern with human destructiveness and aggression and the constant propensity to the repetition of pathology was to be a central feature of his thought in the 1920s and 1930s.” Read more...
The best books on The Psychology of Nazism
Daniel Pick , Historian
The Interpretation of Dreams
“With The Interpretation of Dreams , he invents a special kind of confessional, reflective, meandering narrative genre, through which you can both argue theoretically and also look inward and write about the self and the way the mind works. Through this book you see how the Freudian self takes on layers and layers of significance. He leads us not only into dreams and their occluded meanings, but into memory: for Freud, the most important dreams take you back into childhood. These memories of childhood are woven into fresh understandings of childhood experience and more generally into ideas of how dreams hide meanings and how interpretation can take place.” Read more...
The best books on Sigmund Freud
Lisa Appignanesi , Novelist
Interviews where books by Sigmund Freud were recommended
The best books on sigmund freud , recommended by lisa appignanesi.
The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
The Life And Work of Sigmund Freud by Ernest Jones
Becoming Freud: The Making of a Psychoanalyst by Adam Phillips
Dispatches from the Freud Wars: Psychoanalysis and Its Passions by John Forrester
Tribute to Freud by H.D.
Born into a middle-class Jewish family in Moravia in the Austro-Hungarian empire, Sigmund Freud spent most of his life in Vienna, until fleeing to London just before his death in 1939. Using his classical education to illustrate his points, he introduced the idea that we have an ‘unconscious’ that plays an important role in our actions. For his sessions when patients talked freely to him about their thoughts in a one-on-one setting, he coined the term ‘psychoanalysis.’ Freud expert Lisa Appignanesi talks us through books that shed light on his life as well as his work.
The best books on The Psychology of Nazism , recommended by Daniel Pick
Mass Psychology and Other Writings by Sigmund Freud
The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich
Love, Hate and Reparation by Melanie Klein and Joan Rivere
The Nuremberg Interviews by Leon Goldensohn
Eichmann in Jerusalem by Hannah Arendt
The historian and author of The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind, Daniel Pick, tells us what we can learn from attempts to use psychology, psychiatry and psychoanalysis to understand Nazism.
The best books on Jewish Humour , recommended by Ruth Wisse
The Big Book of Jewish Humour by William Novak and Moshe Waldoks
Tevye the Dairyman and The Railroad Stories by Sholem Aleichem
Herzog by Saul Bellow
The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson
Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious by Sigmund Freud
Ruth Wisse, Martin Peretz Professor of Yiddish Literature and Comparative Literature Emerita at Harvard and author of No Joke: Making Jewish Humour, identifies Tevye the Dairyman as the first standup comic and Sigmund Freud as Jewish humour’s greatest analyst.
The best books on Psychosomatic Illness , recommended by Suzanne O'Sullivan
Studies in Hysteria by Josef Breuer & Sigmund Freud
Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris by Asti Hustvedt
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
Into the Silent Land: Travels in Neuropsychology by Paul Broks
The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by Stephen Grosz
We still understand very little about the workings of the brain, and yet we dismiss the tricks it can play on us as undeserving of the same sympathy as physical illness. Neurologist and author Suzanne O’Sullivan recommends the best books on psychosomatic illness.
Critiques of Utopia and Apocalypse , recommended by John Gray
The Invisible Writing by Arthur Koestler
Civilisation and Its Discontents by Sigmund Freud
The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn
The Sense of an Ending by Frank Kermode
Hello America by JG Ballard
Is it inevitable that the desire to build a perfect world should end in disaster? John Gray considers the flaws in utopian thinking and the essential nature of humans. He recommends the best critiques of utopia and apocalypse.
The best books on Psychoanalysis , recommended by David Bell
Sigmund Freud by Richard Wollheim
Envy and Gratitude by Melanie Klein
Learning From Experience by Wilfred Bion
The well-known psychoanalyst explains which books he believes deserve to be the most read on psychoanalysis. His choices include books by Freud, Klein, Bion, Arendt and explanations of why they must be included.
We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview.
This site has an archive of more than one thousand seven hundred interviews, or eight thousand book recommendations. We publish at least two new interviews per week.
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10 popular books by freud that can help you decode the mind, read on to know which are the 10 most popular books by freud, 'father of psychoanalysis'..
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What is psychoanalysis?
Psychoanalysis is a study of the systematic structure of the theories of the conscious and unconscious psychological process. He was one of the most influential and controversial figures of his time. Born to Jewish parents in the Austrian town of Freiberg (now in Czech Republic), his full name is Sigismund Schlomo Freud.
He was known for his obsession with smoking and was a cigar connoisseur. He gave theories of the unconscious state of mind, existence of libido and later gave interpretations and critiques of religion. Freud was also known for his association with Carl Jung, another great psychiatrist, who became a follower of the former. Both have been the subject of David Cronenberg's 2011 drama film, A Dangerous Method .
Here's a list of his 10 most popular books:
1. on aphasia (1891).
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