The Autobiography of Alexander Luria
A Dialogue with The Making of Mind
Psychology Press – 2005 – 296 pages
Alexander Luria was one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century. His official autobiography was written as a citizen of the Soviet Union, and while it provides a compelling story of his lifelong devotion to developing a comprehensive theory of the biological and cultural foundations of human nature, it is conspicuous for the absence of information about the social context of his work and his personal struggles to be a decent person in indecent times.
The current "dialogic autobiography" brings the vitality of Luria's ideas back to life. Michael Cole and Karl Levitin, both of whom knew Luria well and have written about his life and work, have written a carefully researched introduction and epilogue to the original autobiography. They provide readers, for the first time, with information about the social and personal contexts of Luria's remarkable achievements. Their account is supplemented by a DVD with reminiscences of leading psychologists from around the world who knew and worked with Luria. At last, Luria's life and science are brought together in a single volume.
The book will appeal to psychologists, neuropsychologists, and other scientists interested in Luria's life achievements.
"For anyone who is familiar with and admires Alexander Romanovich Luria, this book is a delight. For those who are unfamiliar, or only vaguely familiar with him, it is an astonishing revelation.."
"It is splendid to have available a new edition of Luria's autobiography, together with a new Preface and Epilogue. … The scientific community will welcome the opportunity to review Luria's scientific life and seminal ideas. And now, from the perspective of life after the USSR, an even wider community of scholars will learn about the extraordinary social context in which he worked."
—Larry R. Squire, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, UCSD School of Medicine and Research
Contents: Preface: Putting a Scientific Autobiography Into Its Social and Personal Contexts. Part I: The Making of Mind in Its Original Form. Introduction: The Historical Context. Apprenticeship. Moscow. Vygotsky. Cultural Differences in Thinking. Mental Development in Twins. Verbal Regulation of Behavior. Disturbance of Brain Functions. Neuropsychology in World War II. Mechanisms of the Brain. Romantic Science. Epilogue: A Portrait of Luria. Part II: Luria in Retrospect. Luria: "These Are Complex Times…" (The Social Context). Luria in Personal Context: Reconciling Contradictions.