A Dream of Undying Fame: How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis

A Dream of Undying Fame: How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis

by Louis Breger
     
 

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The fascinating story behind Studies on Hysteria, the groundbreaking book that launched Freud’s career and created psychoanalysisSee more details below

Overview

The fascinating story behind Studies on Hysteria, the groundbreaking book that launched Freud’s career and created psychoanalysis

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
John Banville, distinguished novelist and critic — Booker Prize, 2005
A Dream of Undying Fame is a scrupulously even-handed, elegantly written and, in the end, sad and frightening account of the over-weening ambition that was the fatal flaw in the character of a great man. Unreconstructed Freudians, if there are still any about, may deplore Breger’s book, but the rest of us owe him a debt.”

Publishers Weekly
“This volume should interest people with a toe in the history of psychology, or those seeking to better understand the history of their own diagnosis.”

Library Journal
“This well-balanced presentation of a nearly mythic man discusses both Freud's failings and his extraordinary contributions in an engagingly readable style. Anyone interested in psychology, particularly the many ideas promoted by Freud that have continued to shaped our current understanding of human nature, will find this worthwhile.”

Sophie Freud, MSW, Ph.D. Professor Emerita of the Simmons College School of Social Work, author of Living in the Shadow of the Freud Family
“A thoughtful and incisive assessment of psychoanalytic theory and practice, its permanent contributions, and its serious flaws. In highly accessible language and style, Louis Breger leads us through Freud’s early experiences, which were to influence his later theories, and his dreams of martial glory, giving due credit to Joseph Breuer, the first practitioner of the talking cure. He sets us straight on the often distorted history of Anna O. and Freud’s infatuation with his male friends while appraising the validity of his theories as they developed along the way. Readers who appreciate a serious scientific book that reads like a detective thriller will be totally captured by A Dream of Undying Fame.”

Jeffrey Berman, Ph. D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, SUNY at Albany
“Fascinating and persuasive….Writing with both clinical and scholarly authority, Louis Breger shows that Josef Breuer deserves more credit for his contribution to psychoanalysis. A Dream of Undying Fame casts much light on many crucial issues in contemporary psychoanalysis, and it will be of great interest to anyone who wishes to learn more about the talking cure and Studies on Hysteria.”

L. Alan Sroufe, William Harris Professor of Child Psychology, University of Minnesota
“This beautifully written book provides a persuasive account of the origins of psychoanalysis, from its promising beginnings through its wrong turns to its current potential. In lucid prose, Breger achieves remarkable balance, portraying Freud’s genius as well as his profound limitations. This masterful work is a guide for the future of psychological theory and psychotherapy.”

Judith Viorst, Author of Necessary Losses
“This wonderfully intelligent and lively account of Freud’s early analytic work and theory-building is packed with information and shrewd insights, giving us a rich portrait of the brilliant, flawed, ferociously ambitious man who transformed the way we look at the world.”

Brenda Webster, author of The Last Good Freudian and Vienna Triangle
A Dream of Undying Fame is a probing, elegant and balanced book. Louis Breger shows how Freud’s traumatic childhood shaped his ambitious, detached and authoritarian personality, and led to the betrayal of his mentor, Josef Breuer. Breger’s analysis exposes a fascinating paradox: Freud both invented psychoanalysis and impoverished its development. A must-read for everyone interested in how ideas can change the world.”

Publishers Weekly
In this follow-up to his biography Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision, Cal. Tech psychoanalysis professor Breger focuses on the work of Freud's collaborator, Josef Breuer, a well-recognized Viennese neurologist who was Freud's mentor and the co-author of Freud's first "groundbreaking" book, Studies in Hysteria, laying out the "essential features of psychoanalysis." It was after that that Freud, "in his quest for fame," disparaged Breuer and abandoned him completely. Where their views subsequently diverged-in the centrality of sexuality and the Oedipus complex-Breuer would ultimately be proven correct. Breuer believed that there were many contributory factors to hysteria, and called Freud's model an "overvaluation of sexuality"; for his part, Breger calls the rise of Freudian theory "one of the tragedies of psychoanalysis," turning psychology into "a cult-like 'cause,'" and leaving it to therapists "outside the psychoanalytical mainstream" to make the new discoveries (setting back, for instance, recognition of post-traumatic stress disorder by 50 years). This volume should interest people with a toe in the history of psychology, or those seeking to better understand the history of their own diagnosis.
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Library Journal
Breger (emeritus, California Inst. of Technology, and founding president, Inst. of Contemporary Psychoanalysis) has previously written an extended and well-received biographical treatment of Freud, Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision, which is similarly based on synthesizing and updating key works about the man and the movement. The "Basic Ideas" series, of which this book is part, offers "concise biographies of texts that have transformed the world"; hence, Breger focuses initially on Studies on Hysteria, Freud's first major publication, written with Josef Breuer. The development and termination of this professional partnership set the template for relationships throughout Freud's career and reveals much about what drove him to develop psychoanalysis as a grand theory, to which everything had to be subsumed. Verdict This well-balanced presentation of a nearly mythic man discusses both Freud's failings and his extraordinary contributions in an engagingly readable style. Anyone interested in psychology, particularly the many ideas promoted by Freud that have continued to shaped our current understanding of human nature, will find this worthwhile.—Paula McMillen, Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780465017355
Publisher:
Basic Books
Publication date:
08/25/2009
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

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