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Freud  By  cover art

Freud

By: Frederick Crews
Narrated by: William Hughes
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Publisher's Summary

From the master of Freud debunkers, the book that definitively puts an end to the myth of psychoanalysis and its creator.

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.

©2017 Frederick Crews (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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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 "Anatomy is destiny." 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 "see no evil" 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 "Freudian therapy," 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.

7 people found this helpful

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Could have been titled: "Freud - What An Asshole"

Loved it, though I am a layman with ZERO expertise in academic psychology and this book is an unapologetically polemical attack on Freud. It maybe could have benefited from the inclusion of other voices, historical or current, "steel manning" the case for Team Freud. However (provided Crews isn't cherry picking his anecdotes), the evidence the author provides is damning, though a bit exhausting in its presentation. The story reminds me of disputes in the physical sciences which, though mostly forgotten now, featured the same sort of messianic proclamations, self-promotion, careerism, and vicious personal rivalries that Crews recounts. The difference here is that instead of Newton and Hooke arguing about whether or not there was an aether, Freud's actions may have actually injured or killed people, the possibility of which he seems to have been pathologically cavalier about. If true, he was a monster in addition to being a fraud, and his cult retarded the progress of psychology for at least 50 years.

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Freud the Fraud

I have always suspected Freud's theories were more a reflection of the twisted man he was than a viable explanation for the abnormal behavior of mankind. This book not only documents the veracity of my suspicions but goes far beyond them to show what a disingenuous man, physician, and so-called objective researcher he was purported to have been by himself and his conniving followers. He has done more than perhaps anyone single man to convince others of his false notions than most in the field of mental illness. And for what? The age old pursuit of Fame and fortune at the expense of humanity. What a crock! and What a fraud he has perpetrated on mankind; he and his complicit cronies. Thank you Frederick Crews for helping expose the details of his perpetrated fraud; for taking the initial writings Malcolm Macmillan, Han Israels, and Allen Esterson others to the next logical and detailed level.

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An icon shattered

Crews is nit-picky at times and overly-judgmental for my Libertarian tastes but the overall scope of the work sings with distinction and performs its deed perfectly which is ending a myth with style, finesse, and factual material mined from a trove of correspondence.

1 person found this helpful