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The International R.D. Laing Institute


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Biography & Critique

Note: Articles are listed chronologically, with most recent publications at the top.

Gonzo Report, Stephen J. Ticktin. 2005
Full-on first-person account of the 3rd R.D. Laing Conference, held on 5 March 05 in the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies building. Enjoy the irony: an action-packed report from the man who insists he has "nothing to say". Gonzo journalism at its best - it feels just like being there... (or grateful you weren't).

R.D. Laing, Gavin Miller. 2004
In the spirit of Laing's statement that, "if you want to know human suffering, don't read psychology texts, read the Greek tragedeans" it is difficult not to imagine that RDL wouldn't have deeply appreciated Miller's Laing, not only because of Miller's gift for Laing's presence in contemporaty film and literature with ease, grace and clarity, but also for its canny telling of the Scottish philosophical and cultural imprint that profoundly, if subtlely, bore its imprint on Laing's life and work.
Review
by Ron Roberts

R.D. Laing: Contemporary Perspectives, Salman Raschid, Editor. 2004.
Long-awaited volume of the proceedings of the 2000 Laing conference, this book 'aims to re-establish Laing's work as a continuing source of
inspiration for the development of a truly humanistic psychiatry and psychology'. Free Association Press

The Politics of Truth, Theodor Itten and Noel Cobb, Eds. Forthcoming
Further background, and notes of the correspondence Theo Itten exchanged with Ronnie Laing in planning this book are detailed in Theodor Itten's essay,
Laing In Austria.

Existential Therapies, Mick Cooper. 2003
"The primary aim of this book is to introduce readers to the rich tapestry of existential therapeutic approaches...to map out the different existential therapies, such that readers can learn to distinguish their Binswanger from their Bugental and are able to identify the key dimensions along which these existential approaches differ." Review by Steven Gans

The Crucible of Experience: R.D. Laing and the Crisis of Psychotherapy, Daniel Burston. 2000.
This volume on Laing offers close examination of his theories and their origins in existentialism and phenomenology.

R.D. Laing: A Personal View, Bob Mullan. 1999
Mullan's latest book, a reevaluation of Laing's life and work.

ACID: The Secret History of LSD, David Black. 1998
Has a chapter entitled 'Psychedelic Templars - Huxley, Leary, R.D. Laing'.

Cultures of Psychiatry and Mental Health in Postwar Britain and the Netherlands, Marijke Gijswijt-Hofstra and Roy Porter, Eds. 1998
A chapter 'R.D. Laing in Scotland - Facts and Fictions of the "Rumpus Room" and Interpersonal Psychiatry' by Dr. Jonathan Andrews.

Psychedelia Britannica: Hallucinogenic Drugs in Britain, Antonio Melechi, Ed. 1997
Cultural history of psychedelics in Britain. From Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland" to R.D. Laing and LSD therapy in the 50's, the Michael Hollingshead story (he turned on Leary) and Alexander Trocchi in the 60's, plus music from Pink Floyd to the rave scene, ecstasy clubs, and the shamanic insurrection. Introduction by Albert Hofmann.

Memories of R.D. Laing / R.D. Laing: Creative Destroyer, Bob Mullan, Ed. 1997
A collection of remembrances of Laing from sixty contributors.

R.D. Laing: A Divided Self, John Clay. 1997
An excellent, well researched biography of Laing.

R.D. Laing and the Paths of Anti-Psychiatry. Zbigniew Kotowicz. 1997
A reasoned critique of Laing's thought.

The Wing of Madness: The Life and Work of R.D. Laing, Daniel Burston. 1996
"This acclaimed biography is a must for anyone researching Laing". Bob Mullan.

Mad to be Normal: Conversations With R.D. Laing, Bob Mullan. 1995
A collection of interviews between Mullan and Laing, conducted during the last two years of Laing's life.

R.D. Laing: A Biography, Adrian Laing. 1994
Another biography, written by R.D. Laing's son; well worth a look.
Review by Stephen Ticktin

The Psychedelic Reader: Selected from the Psychedelic Review, Ralph Metzner, et. al. Eds. 1993 (2nd edn)
Selected articles from the definitive journal

From Patients to Persons: The Psychiatric Critiques of Thomas Szasz, Peter Sedgwick and R.D. Laing, Janet Vice. 1993

What Constitutes the Patient in Psychotherapy: Alternative Approaches to Understanding Humans, Richard D. Chessick. 1992
Overview of Laing's Concepts. The Schizoid Patient. The False Self System and Psychosis. Mystification.

R.D. Laing and Me: Lessons in Love, Roberta Russell (with R.D. Laing) 1992
An account of the author's personal experiences with Laing.
Review by Philip Dore on the Unofficial R.D. Laing site.

Apollo Versus the Echomaker: A Laingian Approach to Psychotherapy, Dreams and Shamanism, Anthony Lunt. 1991
Original and thoughtful discussion of eastern and western views on the dreaming shaman in each of us.

Uncommon Wisdom, Fritjof Capra. 1988
This highly enjoyable book relates the author's meetings not just with Laing but also with a number of other highly unorthodox thinkers, such as Werner Heisenberg, Gregory Bateson, Stanislav Grof and E.F. Schumacher.

The Oxford Companion to the Mind, Richard L. Gregory (editor) 1987

Thinkers of the New Left, Roger Scruton. 1985

R.D.Laing - Rediscovering our Connection with Life, R.S.Miller. Science of Mind, Vol.58, Nr.1, 1985

Psycho Politics, Peter Sedgwick. 1982
A skeptical, but fair minded critique of Laing's work written from a left wing viewpoint. The author also critiques other so-called 'antipsychiatrists' such as Erving Goffman, Thomas Szasz and Michel Foucault.

R.D. Laing: The Philosophy and Politics of Psychotherapy, Andrew Collier. 1977

R.D. Laing: His Work and Its Relevance to Sociology, Martin Howarth-Williams. 1977

Beneath the Mask: An Introduction to Theories of Personality, Christopher F. Monte. 1977
A textbook with discussions on notables including Freud, Jung, Adler, Laing, Erikson, Fromm, Maslow, Eysenck and more.

R.D. Laing: The Man and His Ideas, Richard I. Evans. 1976
A collection of dialogues between Evans and Laing, concluding with an essay 'A Critique of Kallmann's and Slater's Genetic Theory of Schizophrenia' by Laing himself.

The Schizoid World of Jean-Paul Sartre and R.D. Laing, Douglas Kirsner. 1976
The section on Laing is called 'The Mystification of an Imprisoned Soul'.

Social Amnesia: A Critique of Contemporary Psychology from Adler to Laing, Russell Jacoby. 1975
Includes a chapter called 'Theory and Therapy II: Laing and Cooper'.

Divisions, Paul Levine. 1975
Based on a five-part series for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Levine examines theories of imbalance of power articulated in the writing of Frantz Fanon (The Politics of Skin), Doris Lessing (The Politics of the Body) and Ivan Illich (Culture of Wealth and Culture of Poverty) in addition to: R.D. Laing: The Politics of Mind

Going Crazy: An Inquiry Into Madness in Our Time, Otto Friedrich, Avon books, NY 1975.

"Laing" Franca Basaglia, In: Befriedungsverbrechen, 1975

Psychoanalysis and Feminism: Freud, Reich, Laing and Women, Juliet Mitchell. 1975
A critical chapter: 'R.D. Laing - The Family of Man, I'.

"Why I Want to Bite R. D. Laing", Mark Vonnegut. Harper's Magazine, April 1974
Comment on Mark Vonnegut's book, The Eden Express
by Ross Speck
and Andrew Feldmár

Worrying About Ronald Laing, Stephen Koch. World, 16 Januray 1973
Based on an interview at the Algonquin during Laing's US tour. A must read for anyone interested in the spirit of the times, Koch provides a narrative of rare perceptiveness.

R.D. Laing, Edgar Z. Friedenberg. 1973
A short early review of Laing. Part of the Modern Masters series published by Viking Press.

Going Crazy: The Radical Therapy of R.D. Laing and Others, Hendrik Ruitenbeek (editor). 1972
Contains several essays about Laing in addition to his own works 'The Obvious' and ''Metanoia: Some Experiences at Kingsley Hall'. Also has pieces on the subject by Claude Steiner, David Cooper, Mary Barnes, and others.

R.D. Laing and Anti-Psychiatry, Robert Boyers and Robert Orrill, Eds. 1971
One of the earlier works on the subject, this critically varied volume includes contributions by Peter Sedgwick, Leslie Farber, Joseph Berke, Edgar Friedenberg, Mary Barnes and others.

The New Left: Six Critical Essays, Maurice Cranston, Ed. 1971
On Che Guevara, Jean Paul Sartre, Herbert Marcuse, Frantz Fanon, and a chapter: 'R.D. Laing' by David Martin.

The Red Hot Vacuum & Other Pieces on the Writing of the Sixties, Theodore Solotaroff. 1970
Writings by the author on Saul Bellow, James Purdy, William Burroughs, J.D. Salinger, Camus, Anthony Burgess, Sartre, Paul Bowles, Susan Sontag, Paul Goodman, Bernard Malamud and others.
Includes a short essay: '
R.D. Laing: The Uses of Madness'.



Notes regarding errors or omissions in this bibliography would be appreciated. Please send an email to the admin. Thanks.