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Karl Abraham: Life and Work, a Biography is the first complete biography of Karl Abraham (1877-1925), a close colleague and friend of Sigmund Freud and one of the most important pioneers of psychoanalysis.
Abraham was the first psychoanalyst in Germany, where he brought about a great flourishing of psychoanalysis. His clinical-theoretical contributions quickly became classics that have powerfully influenced the development of psychoanalytic theory. He was the first to develop a psychoanalytic theory of depression, several years before the publication of Freud’s 'Mourning and Melancholia'. Abraham was both supervisor and analyst to Melanie Klein, on whose theoretical work he had a profound influence.
In the 1920s Abraham was the most important analyst of the psychoanalytic movement after Freud. He was president of the International Psychoanalytical Association, president of the Berlin Psychoanalytic Society, and a member of the "secret committee". He was involved in a number of major conflicts of the early years of psychoanalysis, and after his death he was quite often blamed for them. As a consequence, Abraham, so highly valued during his life, was frequently reviled after his death.