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The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist

Narrated by: Fred Sanders
Length: 21 hrs and 13 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Editor reviews

James Hillman, author of the radically famous The Soul's Code, is examined through this magnificently constructed biography, The Life and Ideas of James Hillman: Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist. From his service in the U.S. Navy to his admittance to the renowned C. G. Jung Institute in Zurich, author Dick Russelm manages to tell a brilliantly comprehensive journey of a man. The spectacular accuracy of this piece comes from the numerous interviews with James Hillman and those close to him. And the oratory performance of Fred Sanders lends this remarkable story a polished and authoritative air.

Summary

The life of the world’s foremost post-Jungian thinker and best-selling author of The Soul’s Code.

Considered to be the world’s foremost post-Jungian thinker, James Hillman is known as the founder of archetypal psychology and the author of more than 20 books, including the bestselling title The Soul’s Code. In The Making of a Psychologist, we follow Hillman from his youth in the heyday of Atlantic City, through post-war Paris and Dublin, travels in Africa and Kashmir, and onward to Zurich and the Jung Institute, which appointed him its first director of studies in 1960. This first of a two-volume authorized biography is the result of hundreds of hours of interviews with Hillman and others over a seven-year period. Discover how Hillman’s unique psychology was forged through his life experiences and found its basis in the imagination, aesthetics, a return to the Greek pantheon, and the importance of “soul-making,” and gain a better understanding of the mind of one of the most brilliant psychologists of the 20th century.

©2013 Dick Russell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Profile Image for D. Raynal
  • D. Raynal
  • 01-06-13

Every chapter of Hillman's life was a lesson

Where does The Life and Ideas of James Hillman rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of my all time favorites. Though I have read several of Hillman's books I had never fully appreciated the "man" Hillman was until I completed this beautifully written biography. I hated when I completed the audiobook, as it was as though Hillman was fully alive and present with me the entire time. This is a must listen to book if one is at all interested in the twists and turns of life and how these twists and turns help shape each day we live. For me Hillman was a true genius and should be required reading for anyone who wants to answer the question of "who am I".

What other book might you compare The Life and Ideas of James Hillman to and why?

I would compare this book to any GREAT biography that I have been moved by. I experience each life so individualistic that comparisons are difficult but I have read biographies of Freud, Jung, Gandhi, ML King, Meher Baba, Yogananda, T. Roosevelt, and many more and Hillman's is one of my favorites thus far.

What about Fred Sanders’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed his reading as it was neither too slow or too fast. A plesant voice with clear enunciation. I never tired of the sound of his reading.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

My extreme reaction was that I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. Hillman was a truly fascinating man.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Brook
  • 18-02-15

James Hillman Exposed

What made the experience of listening to The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist the most enjoyable?

When you compose ideas on the edge of the new knowledge emerging in psychology you expose yourself to controversial postures and resistance. This is the comprehensive story of Hillman's adventure into archetypal reasoning and beyond medical models of fixing people's mental disturbances. Much needed reminder in today's pill pushing medical community, Hillman made a firm stand for the value of the journey and pointed to our collective dysfunction as a cause for central concern.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vicki
  • 21-08-16

I've listened to it several times.

What did you love best about The Life and Ideas of James Hillman, Volume I: The Making of a Psychologist?

It's very insightful and well-researched about a fascinating character.

What did you like best about this story?

The last third or so - the conflicts in Zurich and the essays at Eranos

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I have listened to this book several times - it's very long. Each time I get more out of it. It's complex.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joern Kroll
  • 17-04-13

Excellent! Fascinating!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Life and Ideas of James Hillman to be better than the print version?

This epic tale, meticulously researched, sheds in-depth light not only on James Hillman’s meandering unfurling and the motley Jungians in Zürich during the 50s and 60s, but functions also as a cultural analysis of the spirit of the times. Excellent! Fascinating! I can’t wait for Vol. 2. (review based on audio version only)

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Brilliant renegade swims against the stream, and finds uncharted waters.

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  • Justice Campbell
  • 11-02-18

Won’t like if not a psychologist

The book reads primarily as a biography with a truly interesting life (my opinion). It weaves in the psychological ideas of the subject - linking them into relevant life events.
It’s not a bad book per se. Simply wasn’t what I hoped - structured masculinity based psychology.

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  • Lourens
  • 22-02-20

The heroes journey of James Hillman

Lovely biographical on the development of Hillman from boy years through formation by the establishment and attempted destruction by an emotional jealous. Hillmans commitment and truth to life prevails and permeated the field and so much more. At the bleeding edge of the discipline to stimulate reflection and growth. Soul is found and placed at the center.

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  • J'oli
  • 01-01-20

More Life, less ideas

Was expecting more of an anthology than a biography... I listened to the entire book hoping to get some insight into his psychology however it’s just stories of his life, and this book ends right in the middle of his life :/. Well researched and written but the title was a bit deceptive.

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  • Jason Rafferty
  • 15-09-18

Really nice read

This is a really well done historical and intellectual biography of the first half of James Hillman’s life. It provides a lot of context for the development of Hillman’s thought and his influences. Importantly, it also carefully documents his meandering journey of development and certain periods of ‘false starts’, such as his efforts to write fiction as a young man in Kashmir, India, before he eventually found his true calling upon being exposed to the Jung institute in Zurich. Well paced reading. Get it!

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  • sjineug
  • 16-05-15

A fine biography.

A revealing and engaging look inside the life of a man who was a mentor to thousands. Looking forward to vol 2.