Freudian Fraud: The Malignant Effect of Freud's Theory on American Thought and Culture

E. Fuller Torrey, M.D., Author HarperCollins Publishers $25 (362p) ISBN 978-0-06-016812-4
Torrey caricatures psychoanalysis in this blistering, one-sided, sometimes shrill polemic. Reviewing the evidence, he finds Freud's theory of early childhood traumas' purported effects on personality development to be devoid of scientifc support. In his view, psychoanalysis caught on in the U.S. because it fused with impulses toward sexual freedom and social reform. Bisexual Margaret Mead, who ``blamed her culture for causing her to feel like a deviant,'' embraced Freudianism, as did her lover, Ruth Benedict, under the influence of their mentor, Franz Boas. Political liberals and Greenwich Village intellectuals used Freudian theory to further their own agendas, argues psychiatrist Torrey ( Nowhere to Go ). In his scenario, the Holocaust spurred American Jews to undergo psychoanalysis, Freud's ideas infiltrated childrearing practices through Benjamin Spock, and the Freudianization of our prison system altered the concept of criminal responsibility. Rejecting Freud, Torrey puts forward the thesis that genetic factors play a major role in shaping personality. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
Hardcover - 978-1-929636-00-6
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-0-06-092378-5
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