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Since the 1970s, Sigmund Freud's scientific reputation has been in an accelerating tailspin - and for excellent reasons. Nevertheless, the idea persists that some of his proposals were visionary discoveries. In Freud: The Making of an Illusion, Frederick Crews investigates the record and reveals findings that will revolutionize our conception of the therapist, the theorist, and the human being.
Drawing on rarely consulted archives, Crews shows us a man who blundered tragicomically in his dealings with patients, who never produced a corroborated cure, who promoted cocaine in one decade and was deluded by it in the next, who misunderstood the psychological controversies of the era, and who advanced his career through falsifying case histories and betraying the mentors who had helped him to rise. The contrary legend has persisted, Crews shows, thanks to Freud's self-fashioning as a master detective of the psyche and later through a campaign of censorship and obfuscation conducted by his followers.
A monumental biographical study and a slashing critique, Freud: The Making of an Illusion will stand as the last word on one of the most significant and contested figures of the 20th century.
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By Quin Dwyer on 09-26-17
A contemptible fraud exposed
For years I've read how the legacy of Freud contained ugly and perverse elements, while Freudian apologists covered up and smoothed over rough edges of some kind. It's a lot more than insensitive comments filled with contempt for women such as &quot;Anatomy is destiny.&quot; Because so much was hidden by apologists t was hard to tell. This book assembles the facts, and the case is damning. Apologists ignore, for example, how Freud considered child molestation to be simple seduction leading to a neurosis condition to be cured by his patented talk therapy. Case history notes that do survive illustrate how Freud lied and manipulated facts, publishing theories that were not grounded in science. Those who stood up for truth were ostracized and ridiculed.
In short, Freud proves to be a charlatan, a liar and a creep, an egotist with little professional integrity, and with contempt for his patients and even his slavish &quot;see no evil&quot; followers (likely using the same rationales as those who shielded child molesting priests). The author is passionate and angry at this fraud of a human being and the damage he and his followers perpetrated. The narrator is skilled, and you feel the passion and the outrage.
One warning: this book can shake your sense of trust in Freud, his deceitful therapy, and those who perpetrated the decades-long cover-ups of this contemptible creep and the abuses he fostered. If anything, the author does not lambaste these hypocrites enough.
I note this is a long listen. Be prepared. At the end, the author covers various of the deceitful dogmas of the unscientific &quot;Freudian therapy,&quot; which is a good chapter to make you realize how many toxic falsehoods this creep and his disciples spread.
Overall, well worth purchasing and listening to.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful