Crazy: My Seven Years at Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School

Roberta Carly Redford, Author
Roberta Carly Redford, Trafford, $20.33 trade paper (364p) ISBN 978-1-4251-9175-7
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 08/01/2010
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Redford seeks to expose and challenge the myth surrounding the late Bruno Bettelheim, famed child psychologist and director of the Orthogenic School at the University of Chicago. One of many children placed by parents into Bettelheim's care, Redford was a student at the Orthogenic School—a residential facility for emotionally disturbed youths—from age 16 to 23. While there, she was, by her own account, beaten regularly, emotionally abused, and subjected to a variety of humiliations. Bettelheim himself was a key part of this treatment. Redford offers a detailed account of her time at the Orthogenic School and includes records of counselors' minutes—complete with commentary and interpretation. The author may have a legitimate grievance, but her account is simplistic, repetitive, and fraught with so much anger and resentment that readers may become uncomfortable and unsympathetic.
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