Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 343–346 | Cite as

Book Reviews

  • Robbie Duschinsky
Book Review

The Americanization of Narcissism

Elizabeth Lunbeck Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2014, pp. 384, $35.00 hardback, ISBN: 9780674724860

Narcissism and its Discontents

Julie Walsh Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2014, pp. 192, $95.00 hardback, ISBN: 978-1-137-33344-5

In a lecture to the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society of 5th March 1913, Freud emphasised that ‘narcissism has to remain for us an irreducible phenomenon, the basis of the libido theory’ (Nunberg and Federn, 1974, p. 175). Returning home from this lecture, Lou Andreas-Salomé wrote in her diary: ‘I had to give a lot of thought to these discussions insofar as they have to do with the concept of narcissism. It is certain that the concept is employed in two ways which could surely lead to extraordinarily disturbing misunderstandings’ (Andreas-Salomé, 1965, p. 109). In its first usage by Freud and his colleagues, the concept referred to a developmental stage in which the infant clings to a fantasy that it encompasses and enjoys...


  1. Andreas-Salomé, L. (1965) The Freud Journal of Lou-Andreas Salomé. Translated by S. A. Leavy. London: Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis.Google Scholar
  2. Behrendt, R.-P. (2015) Narcissism and the Self: Dynamics of Self-Preservation in Social Interaction, Personality Structure, Subjective Experience, and Psychopathology. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. DeArmitt, P. (2014) The Right to Narcissism. NY: Fordham University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Lunbeck, E. (2014) The Americanization of Narcissism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nunberg, H., & Federn, E. (1974) Minutes of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (Vol. IV). NY: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  6. Pinsky, D., & Young, S. M. (2009) The Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism Is Seducing America. NY: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  7. Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2010) The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement. NY: Free Press.Google Scholar
  8. Walsh, J. (2015) Narcissism and its Discontents. London: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Primary Care UnitSchool of Clinical MedicineCambridgeUK

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