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New Book by FMSF Advisor Frederick Crews

FMSF News Alert - November 16, 2017

Dear Friends,

Freud: The Making of an Illusion

Metropolitan Books, 746 pages

What to make of Sigmund Freud?

In his most recent book: Freud: The Making of an Illusion, Frederick Crews, long a critic of Freud, presents a devastating critique of the man and his work. Indeed, Freud’s reputation has steadily diminished over the years as more and more of his papers have come into the public domain. This book leaves his reputation in tatters.

Focusing on Freud’s early career, from 1884 to 1900, Crews paints a portrait of a man who made tragic errors with his patients, who promoted cocaine to which he became addicted, and who falsified case histories to fit his theories. Crews presents evidence that the high regard in which Freud was held for many years was a result of censorship and obfuscation on the part of his followers. We are left with a picture of Freud as a "trumped-up blowhard." [1]

At the same time, there are also many loyal and adoring Freud fans for whom recent exposes have had virtually no effect. Elizabeth Loftus observes: "For those who worship Freud, and even those millions who have simply admired his ideas, Crews’s rigorous and captivating detective work, will be a bracing challenge."

A few of the many reviews of Freud: The Making of an Illusion that are available online:

Matthew Hutson, Sept 1, 2017 Young Freud, cruel, incurious, deceptive, and in search of fame. Washington Post.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/young-freud-cruel-incurious-deceptive-and-in-search-of-fame

George Prochnik Aug 14, 2017. The Curious Conundrum of Freud’s Persistent Influence. New York Times Book Review.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/14/books/review/freud-biography-frederick-crews.html

Louis Menand, August 28, 2017. Why Freud Survives: He’s been debunked again and again - and yet we still can’t give him up. The New Yorker. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/08/28/why-freud-survives

[1] Matthew Hutson, Sept 1, 2017 Young Freud, cruel, incurious, deceptive, and in search of fame Washington Post

J.Bean and Pamela