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Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Eminent Lives)

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Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Eminent Lives) Cover

ISBN13: 9780060598952
ISBN10: 0060598956
Condition:
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Often referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis," Sigmund Freud championed the "talking cure" and charted the human unconscious. But though Freud compared himself to Copernicus and Darwin, his history as a physician is problematic. Historians have determined that Freud often misrepresented the course and outcome of his treatments—so that the facts would match his theories. Today Freud's legacy is in dispute, his commentators polarized into two camps: one of defenders; the other, fierce detractors.

Peter D. Kramer, himself a practicing psychiatrist and a leading national authority on mental health, offers a new take on this controversial figure, one both critical and sympathetic. He recognizes that although much of Freud's thought is now archaic, the discipline he invented has become an inescapable part of our culture, transforming the way we see ourselves. Freud was a myth-maker, a storyteller, a writer whose books will survive among the classics of our literature. The result of Kramer's inquiry is nothing less than a new standard history of Freud by a modern master of his thought.

Review:

"Looking closely at Freud's approach to specific patients and revisiting some of his lesser-known publications (including a vigorous campaign in support of cocaine as a mood-enhancer and anesthetic), Kramer finds in this irreverent biography a man who 'displayed bad character in the service of bad science.' Kramer's task is a difficult one, in large part because, in anticipation of his own legacy, Freud began destroying his personal documents at an early age. It's this kind of hubris ('as for the biographers ... we have no desire to make it too easy for them') which enabled him to hide the fact that he was 'more devious and less original than he made himself out to be;' it also makes him a fascinating subject. Kramer is careful to give Freud's major contributions-including the recognition that symptoms can 'reveal hints of thoughts and feelings pushed out of awareness' and that psychoanalysis's unfettered exploration of the subconscious can offer patients a haven for exploring otherwise repressed thoughts-their due. But he is unsparing in his assessment of Freud's errors in judgment: 'there is a disturbing consistency in Freud's indifference to inconvenient facts. ... he bullied his patients and misrepresented his results.' Kramer's study is a refreshing and thorough work that readers of all levels of familiarity with Freud's work can appreciate." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The initial impression conveyed by Peter Kramer's short biography of Freud is jarring. The book is part of a new series of 'Eminent Lives,' and its subtitle credits Freud — not Einstein, Picasso or Kafka — with the invention of the modern mind. And yet, drawing on information that was uncovered in the 1980s, Kramer opens with a damning picture of Freud pressuring a young American patient to leave... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Book News Annotation:

Taking a position in the no-man's land between the irreconcilable pro- and anti-Freud camps, Kramer approaches Freud both critically and sympathetically. Kramer, a practicing psychiatrist, asserts that, although much of Freud's thought is now archaic, the discipline he invented has become an inescapable part of our culture. Kramer sees Freud as a myth-maker, a storyteller and a writer whose books will survive among the classics of literature. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Often referred to as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud championed the talking cure and charted the human unconscious. But though Freud compared himself to Copernicus and Darwin, his history as a physician is problematic. Historians have determined that Freud often misrepresented the course and outcome of his treatments-; so that the facts would match his theories. Today Freud's legacy is in dispute, his commentators polarized into two camps: one of defenders; the other, fierce detractors.

Peter D. Kramer, himself a practicing psychiatrist and a leading national authority on mental health, offers a new take on this controversial figure, one both critical and sympathetic. He recognizes that although much of Freud's thought is now archaic, the discipline he invented has become an inescapable part of our culture, transforming the way we see ourselves. Freud was a myth-maker, a storyteller, a writer whose books will survive among the classics of our literature. The result of Kramer's inquiry is nothing less than a new standard history of Freud by a modern master of his thought.

Synopsis:

A concise and seductive biography of the father of psychoanalysis is penned by a "New York Times" bestselling author and one of the top psychiatrists in practice today.

About the Author

Peter D. Kramer, called "America's best-known psychiatrist" by the New York Times, is the bestselling author of Listening to Prozac, Should You Leave?, Spectacular Happiness, Moments of Engagement, and, most recently, Against Depression. He has also contributed to the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post, the London Times Literary Supplement, and U.S. News & World Report, among other publications. Dr. Kramer lives and practices in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is a professor at Brown University.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jhsk4, February 14, 2007 (view all comments by jhsk4)
The author is a psychiatrist. Readers of this book ought to know that a psychiatrist is not a psychoanalyst. For a psychiatrist to be a psychoanalyst, he must go through a thorough, and supervised psychoanalysis. So, therefore, the author has not lived through all of the phenomena that Freud wrote about, and is, thus, not really capable of criticizing Freud, in a technical way. Psychoanalysis is psychic surgery. But a surgeon does not have to go through surgery to perform it, but one has to live through a psychoanalysis to understand it thoroughly. Kramer's book lacks credibility on this account alone.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060598952
Author:
Kramer, Peter D
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Author:
Kramer, Peter
Author:
Kramer, Peter D.
Author:
by Peter Kramer
Subject:
General
Subject:
Austria
Subject:
Social Scientists & Psychologists
Subject:
Psychoanalysts
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Freud, Sigmund
Subject:
Psychoanalysts - Austria
Subject:
Biography-Social Scientists and Psychologists
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Eminent Lives
Publication Date:
20061131
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.38x5.34x.90 in. .62 lbs.

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Related Subjects


Biography » Social Scientists and Psychologists
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Freud

Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Eminent Lives) Sale Hardcover
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$4.98 In Stock
Product details 224 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060598952 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Looking closely at Freud's approach to specific patients and revisiting some of his lesser-known publications (including a vigorous campaign in support of cocaine as a mood-enhancer and anesthetic), Kramer finds in this irreverent biography a man who 'displayed bad character in the service of bad science.' Kramer's task is a difficult one, in large part because, in anticipation of his own legacy, Freud began destroying his personal documents at an early age. It's this kind of hubris ('as for the biographers ... we have no desire to make it too easy for them') which enabled him to hide the fact that he was 'more devious and less original than he made himself out to be;' it also makes him a fascinating subject. Kramer is careful to give Freud's major contributions-including the recognition that symptoms can 'reveal hints of thoughts and feelings pushed out of awareness' and that psychoanalysis's unfettered exploration of the subconscious can offer patients a haven for exploring otherwise repressed thoughts-their due. But he is unsparing in his assessment of Freud's errors in judgment: 'there is a disturbing consistency in Freud's indifference to inconvenient facts. ... he bullied his patients and misrepresented his results.' Kramer's study is a refreshing and thorough work that readers of all levels of familiarity with Freud's work can appreciate." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Often referred to as the father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud championed the talking cure and charted the human unconscious. But though Freud compared himself to Copernicus and Darwin, his history as a physician is problematic. Historians have determined that Freud often misrepresented the course and outcome of his treatments-; so that the facts would match his theories. Today Freud's legacy is in dispute, his commentators polarized into two camps: one of defenders; the other, fierce detractors.

Peter D. Kramer, himself a practicing psychiatrist and a leading national authority on mental health, offers a new take on this controversial figure, one both critical and sympathetic. He recognizes that although much of Freud's thought is now archaic, the discipline he invented has become an inescapable part of our culture, transforming the way we see ourselves. Freud was a myth-maker, a storyteller, a writer whose books will survive among the classics of our literature. The result of Kramer's inquiry is nothing less than a new standard history of Freud by a modern master of his thought.

"Synopsis" by , A concise and seductive biography of the father of psychoanalysis is penned by a "New York Times" bestselling author and one of the top psychiatrists in practice today.

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