Sigmund Freud: Pioneer of the Mind

Overview

Few historical figures have captured the public imagination as completely as Sigmund Freud. At a time when many ailments of the mind were treated with soothing baths or dangerous electroshock therapy, Freud initiated a novel practice: he simply listened to his patients. He called his method of treatment psychoanalysis, or “the talking cure.” Though the validity of Freud’s theories is still widely debated, there is little doubt that his contributions to the study of the mind were invaluable. In this compelling, ...

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Overview

Few historical figures have captured the public imagination as completely as Sigmund Freud. At a time when many ailments of the mind were treated with soothing baths or dangerous electroshock therapy, Freud initiated a novel practice: he simply listened to his patients. He called his method of treatment psychoanalysis, or “the talking cure.” Though the validity of Freud’s theories is still widely debated, there is little doubt that his contributions to the study of the mind were invaluable. In this compelling, even-handed biography, Catherine Reef explains Freud’s groundbreaking theories and methods and shows how Freudian thought has affected our culture, changing the way we think about everything from art and literature to raising children. Beautiful archival family photographs round out this intimate look at a fascinating man. Endnotes, bibliography, index.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reef makes it clear that although Freud's individual theories mattered greatly, they were less important than his leading us to new ways of looking at ourselves." Booklist, ALA

Reef's piercing biography deftly interprets the life of the father of psychoanalysis and one of the most influential men of the 20th century. . . The text hits controversy head-on. . . Reef distills Freud's theories into comprehensible descriptions and combines a wealth if primary source material and idiosyncratic details to demonstrate his intellect, character and personality.
Publishers Weekly, Starred

Skillfully, Catherine Reef weaves the developing theories of the first psychoanalyst into a chronological report of his eventful life, setting both in the political and social currents of his era. . . .Reef depicts a complex, brillant, and humane man who—though he had evidently been a tyrannical child—became a devoted, well-loved colleague, husband, and parent. With admirable clarity, she presents both his seminal ideas and the objections, refinements, and alternatives to them that are still debated.
Horn Book, Starred

Quotations from others about him and black-and-white photographs provide an image of Freud not only as a great thinker, but also as a loving devoted father and husband. Reef's descriptions of his struggle to see his ideas accepted, his willingness to experiment with new theories, and his writing literally until he died clearly convey a picture of an indefatiguable spirit with a passion and zest for every facet of life.
School Library Journal

Effective use of personal details that reveal Freud's intellect, emotions, and personality, plus photos of his family, friends, and professional life, make this book rich and visually appealing.
VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates)

null Children's Books: 100 Titles NYPL

Children's Literature
The father of modern day psychoanalysis is indisputably Sigmund Freud. The very mention of his name frequently results in heated discussion. Reef's book takes an in-depth look at the life of Freud and examines the man. Wonderful black-and-white, archival photographs combined with quotes from Freud throughout the book, providing the reader with an intimate look at this man. Freud pioneered a radical approach to treating patients with mental illness in the early 1900s. Rather than utilizing the tools of the time that included everything from soothing baths to electroshock therapy, Freud chose to listen to his patients. He often advised his patients to "Say what's on your mind." This was the beginning of a new and controversial, to this day, way of treating patients. The book walks the reader through the trials of life that helped mold the man we know as Sigmund Freud. A comprehensive glossary at the end of the book defines terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader. This well-researched biography provides a true insight into Sigmund Freud. 2001, Clarion Books, $19.00. Ages 10 up. Reviewer: Rita Karr
VOYA
The father of psychoanalysis and one of the most significant and influential people of the twentieth century, Sigmund Freud still is criticized and his theories debated, yet his ideas are widespread and pervasive. Understanding modern psychology requires knowing a little about Freud, and Reef does a stellar job of condensing Freud's progressive and complex theories into a comprehensible and readable story. The story begins in Freud's office: "Say whatever goes through your mind." Immediately, readers are involved intimately in Freud's bold and revolutionary approach to healing ailments by unlocking the secrets of the mind and memories of the patient. Freud came to believe that human sexuality was the root factor in mental disorders. His courageous determination to find a method for healing troubled people resulted in intense and public ridicule. Reef portrays a scientist with deeply held convictions and a desire to improve the human condition no matter what the personal cost. Reef traces Freud's life from his childhood with his doting mother—whom he credited for the self-confidence that enabled him to succeed—to the end, including his escape from the Nazis and losing his battle with cancer. Effective use of personal details that reveal Freud's intellect, emotions, and personality, plus photos of his family, friends, and professional life, make this book rich and visually appealing. Freud reflected upon his life's work, hoping that he had "opened up a pathway for an important advance in our knowledge." Reef convinces readers that Freud fulfilled his dream. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any betterwritten; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Clarion, 152p, $19. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Dolores Maminski
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-Reef does a fine job of consolidating information to produce a biography that will serve as a reference source. Chapter one sets the tone with a readable, succinct summary of Freud's importance to the study of the mind. In subsequent chapters, discussions of Freud's life, family, work, associates, friendships, and publications are set against the political, social, and economic upheavals of the early 20th century. Quotations from others about him and the black-and-white photographs provide an image of Freud not only as a great thinker, but also as a loving, devoted father and husband. Reef's descriptions of his struggle to see his ideas accepted, his willingness to experiment with new theories, and his writing literally until he died clearly convey a picture of an indefatigable spirit with a passion and zest for every facet of life. Oddly, in the endnotes, Reef identifies direct quotes by repeating the first few words and listing the source-there are no footnote numbers. Overall, the writing is engaging and clear; however, due to the inclusive aspect of this volume, some coverage is superficial. This does not mar its value as a research tool.-Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618017621
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/23/2001
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 10 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine Reef is the author of more than 40 nonfiction books, including many highly acclaimed biographies for young people. She lives in College Park, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Wrestling Demons 1
Chapter 2 Favorite Son 9
Chapter 3 Becoming a Doctor 25
Chapter 4 Working, Hoping, Risking 39
Chapter 5 The Talking Cure 51
Chapter 6 The "Royal Road" 65
Chapter 7 Prophet 79
Chapter 8 Polar Night 93
Chapter 9 Abandoning Ship 111
Chapter 10 "The Patchwork of Life's Labours" 127
Endnotes 137
Selected Bibliography 144
Glossary 145
Index 147
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