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The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days

The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today…a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna…This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.”—Los Angeles Times

When Hitler invaded Austria in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud was among the 175,000 Viennese Jews dreading Nazi occupation. Though Freud was near the end of his life—eighty-one years old, battling cancer of the jaw—and Hitlers rise on the world stage was just beginning, the fates of these two historical giants were nonetheless intertwined. In this gripping and revelatory historical narrative, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freuds oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freuds escape to London, where he published his last and most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism.

By taking a close look at Freuds last years—years that coincided with the onset of the Second World War—Edmundson probes Freuds prescient ideas about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. At a time when these forces are once again shaping world events, The Death of Sigmund Freud suggests new and vital ways to view Freuds legacy.

Mark Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia. A prizewinning scholar, he has published a number of works of literary and cultural criticism, including Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference, and Why Read?; he wrote the introduction to Beyond the Pleasure Principle in Adam Phillipss celebrated reissue of Freuds work. He has also written for such publications as The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Harpers, where he is a contributing editor.
When Hitler invaded Vienna in March of 1938, famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, in failing health at the age of 81, was among the citys 175,000 Jews dreading Nazi occupation. The Nazis hated Sigmund Freud with a particular vehemence: they detested his “soul-destroying glorification of the instinctual life.” Here, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freuds oddly converging lives.  He then zeroes in on Freuds last two years, during which, with the help of Marie Bonaparte, he was at last rescued from Vienna.  He was brought safely to London, where he was honored as he never had been during his long, controversial life. At the same time, he endured the last of more than thirty operations for cancer of the jaw. Confronting certain death, Freud, in typical fashion, did not let fame make him complacent.  Instead, he wrote his most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism, in which he questioned the legacy of the greatest Jewish leader.

By focusing on Freuds last two years, Edmundson is able to probe Freuds ideas about death, and also about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. Edmundson suggests new and important ways to view Freuds legacy at a time when these forces are once again shaping world events.

The Death of Sigmund Freud is a thoroughly engaging, solidly informed, and beautifully written book . . . [Edmundsons] writing is so good and so totally free of off-putting professional jargon that it draws the reader irresistibly into Edmundsons portrayal of Freuds last two years . . . a wonderful introduction . . . Those already familiar with Freuds writings can still learn much from this fine book.”—Journal of American Medicine

"The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today . . . an engaging read . . . a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna . . . This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today."—Los Angeles Times

"Mr. Edmundson proves himself a deft and genial explicator . . . a superb mediation on two kinds of authority, and in its sober, qualified reverence for Freud, Mr. Edmundson provides an example of the kind of relationship to greatness that he is advocating. Mr. Edmundson presents us with a figure who still has the power to rouse us from our complacency, whose stern, exacting eyes continue to remind us that we are apt to forget: that we must work to change our lives."—The Sun

“By tracing the intersecting stories of Sigmund Freud and Adolph Hitler in the days before World War II, Mark Edmundson sheds a fresh light on one of the most pressing questions of our day: the allure of fundamentalist politics and the threat it poses to the values of civilization. The Death of Sigmund Freud is a bracing, brilliant, and urgent book.”—Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire

The Death of Sigmund Freud is a story about just how confused we are by our craving for authority. In Edmundson's riveting book Freud becomes at once more remarkable as a writer, and more ordinary as a person, a figure to be reckoned with rather than to revere. There has not been a better book on why Freud might matter now—and on why culture-heroes matter at all—for a very long time.”—Adam Phillips, author of Side-Effects

"The final shaping of the Promethean psychoanalyst's work amid the opening clashes of war and forebodings of holocaust. Previously acclaimed for his literary and cultural criticism, Edmundson uses Hitler's forced annexation of Austria in March 1938 as a matrix for assembling and framing the thought of Vienna resident Freud . . . Edmundson stresses the areas of Freud's work that pertain to sources of human conflict, both personal and collective. Nothing could be more hideously apt in the age of fascism than the analyst's theory regarding humankind's infantile and, he believed, eternal psychological yearning for authority figures. 'Freud pointed to the twofold horror of . . . the Patriarchal Complex, tyrannical governments and tyrannical religions,' Edmundson writes, 'and began to explain why they will probably be with us forever.' Hitler himself was the perfect foil for this intellectual exercise, someone who despised the Viennese Jew while unwittingly confirming his tenets in both word and deed; Freud found the Fuhrer not a monstrous anomaly but totally predictable. Assisted by morphine doses administered by a doctor who promised to help when the pain from his cancer became intolerable, Freud died on September 23, 1939. His lessons live on, Edmundson avers: 'When religious fundamentalism crosses national borders and aligns itself with authoritarian politics, nations that aspire to democracy must deal with an enormous threat.' Brilliantly buttressed plea for reconsideration of Freud as philosopher and shrink."—Kirkus Reviews

"Teacher and writer Edmundson . . . applies Freud's notion of a universal need for authoritarian father figures as an explanation of Nazism and explores Freud's militant atheism as a protest against that irrational yearning, especially in Moses and Monotheism . . . This portrait of a pessimistic, ambivalent, courageous, rigid, rarely vulnerable man in the context of Moses is valuable . . . Recommended for psychology and history collections."—E. James Lieberman, Library Journal

"Edmundson develops his thesis about the lure of powerful, authoritarian leaders. He begins in 1938 Vienna on the eve of Hitler's invasion and ends less than two years later, when Freud died in London. The crux of the book comes at its very end, where Edmundson, a contributing editor at Harper's, discusses Moses and Monotheism (published in 1939), arguing for Freud's profound insights into the rise of a totalitarian, paternalistic leader like Hitler. In fact, Edmundson's aim seems even grander: to revive Freud's legacy as a sage of human nature in an intellectual climate that has moved beyond many of his ideas."—Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today...a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna...This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.--Los Angeles Times

When Hitler invaded Austria in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud was among the 175,000 Viennese Jews dreading Nazi occupation. Though Freud was near the end of his life--eighty-one years old, battling cancer of the jaw--and Hitler's rise on the world stage was just beginning, the fates of these two historical giants were nonetheless intertwined. In this gripping and revelatory historical narrative, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freud's oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freud's escape to London, where he published his last and most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism.

By taking a close look at Freud's last years--years that coincided with the onset of the Second World War--Edmundson probes Freud's prescient ideas about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. At a time when these forces are once again shaping world events, The Death of Sigmund Freud suggests new and vital ways to view Freud's legacy. Mark Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia. A prizewinning scholar, he has published a number of works of literary and cultural criticism, including Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference, and Why Read?; he wrote the introduction to Beyond the Pleasure Principle in Adam Phillips's celebrated reissue of Freud's work. He has also written for such publications as The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor. When Hitler invaded Vienna in March of 1938, famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, in failing health at the age of 81, was among the city's 175,000 Jews dreading Nazi occupation. The Nazis hated Sigmund Freud with a particular vehemence: they detested his soul-destroying glorification of the instinctual life. Here, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freud's oddly converging lives. He then zeroes in on Freud's last two years, during which, with the help of Marie Bonaparte, he was at last rescued from Vienna. He was brought safely to London, where he was honored as he never had been during his long, controversial life. At the same time, he endured the last of more than thirty operations for cancer of the jaw. Confronting certain death, Freud, in typical fashion, did not let fame make him complacent. Instead, he wrote his most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism, in which he questioned the legacy of the greatest Jewish leader.

Focusing on Freud's last two years, Edmundson is able to probe Freud's ideas about death, and also about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. Edmundson suggests new and important ways to view Freud's legacy at a time when these forces are once again shaping world events.The Death of Sigmund Freud is a thoroughly engaging, solidly informed, and beautifully written book . . . Edmundson's] writing is so good and so totally free of off-putting professional jargon that it draws the reader irresistibly into Edmundson's portrayal of Freud's last two years . . . a wonderful introduction . . . Those already familiar with Freud's writings can still learn much from this fine book.--Journal of American Medicine

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today . . . an engaging read . . . a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna . . . This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.--Los Angeles Times

Mr. Edmundson proves himself a deft and genial explicator . . . a superb mediation on two kinds of authority, and in its sober, qualified reverence for Freud, Mr. Edmundson provides an example of the kind of relationship to greatness that he is advocating. Mr. Edmundson presents us with a figure who still has the power to rouse us from our complacency, whose stern, exacting eyes continue to remind us that we are apt to forget: that we must work to change our lives.--The Sun

By tracing the intersecting stories of Sigmund Freud and Adolph Hitler in the days before World War II, Mark Edmundson sheds a fresh light on one of the most pressing questions of our day: the allure of fundamentalist politics and the threat it poses to the values of civilization. The Death of Sigmund Freud is a bracing, brilliant, and urgent book.--Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire

The Death of Sigmund Freud is a story about just how confused we are by our craving for authority. In Edmundson's riveting book Freud becomes at once more remarkable as a writer, and more ordinary as a person, a figure to be reckoned with rather than to revere. There has not been a better book on why Freud might matter now--and on why culture-heroes matter at all--for a very long time.--Adam Phillips, author of Side-Effects

The final shaping of the Promethean psychoanalyst's work amid the opening clashes of war and forebodings of holocaust. Previously acclaimed for his literary and cultural criticism, Edmundson uses Hitler's forced annexation of Austria in March 1938 as a matrix for assembling and framing the thought of Vienna resident Freud . . . Edmundson stresses the areas of Freud's work that pertain to sources of human conflict, both personal and collective. Nothing could be more hideously apt in the age of fascism than the analyst's theory regarding humankind's infantile and, he believed, eternal psychological yearning for authority figures. 'Freud pointed to the twofold horror of . . . the Patriarchal Complex,

Synopsis:

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today…a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna…This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.”—Los Angeles Times

When Hitler invaded Austria in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud was among the 175,000 Viennese Jews dreading Nazi occupation. Though Freud was near the end of his life—eighty-one years old, battling cancer of the jaw—and Hitlers rise on the world stage was just beginning, the fates of these two historical giants were nonetheless intertwined. In this gripping and revelatory historical narrative, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freuds oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freuds escape to London, where he published his last and most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism.

By taking a close look at Freuds last years—years that coincided with the onset of the Second World War—Edmundson probes Freuds prescient ideas about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. At a time when these forces are once again shaping world events, The Death of Sigmund Freud suggests new and vital ways to view Freuds legacy.

About the Author

Mark Edmundson teaches at the University of Virginia, where he is University Professor. A prizewinning scholar, he has published a number of works of literary and cultural criticism, including Why Read?, Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida; and Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference. He has also written for such publications as the New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, the Nation, and Harpers, where he is a contributing editor.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596914308
Subtitle:
The Legacy of His Last Days
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Author:
Edmundson, Mark
Subject:
General Biography
Subject:
Social Scientists & Psychologists
Subject:
Movements - Psychoanalysis
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Biography-Social Scientists and Psychologists
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20080916
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.32 x 5.47 x 0.795 in

Related Subjects


Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Freud

The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days
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Product details 288 pages Bloomsbury Press - English 9781596914308 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today...a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna...This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.--Los Angeles Times

When Hitler invaded Austria in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud was among the 175,000 Viennese Jews dreading Nazi occupation. Though Freud was near the end of his life--eighty-one years old, battling cancer of the jaw--and Hitler's rise on the world stage was just beginning, the fates of these two historical giants were nonetheless intertwined. In this gripping and revelatory historical narrative, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freud's oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freud's escape to London, where he published his last and most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism.

By taking a close look at Freud's last years--years that coincided with the onset of the Second World War--Edmundson probes Freud's prescient ideas about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. At a time when these forces are once again shaping world events, The Death of Sigmund Freud suggests new and vital ways to view Freud's legacy. Mark Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia. A prizewinning scholar, he has published a number of works of literary and cultural criticism, including Literature Against Philosophy, Plato to Derrida, Teacher: The One Who Made the Difference, and Why Read?; he wrote the introduction to Beyond the Pleasure Principle in Adam Phillips's celebrated reissue of Freud's work. He has also written for such publications as The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, and Harper's, where he is a contributing editor. When Hitler invaded Vienna in March of 1938, famed psychologist Sigmund Freud, in failing health at the age of 81, was among the city's 175,000 Jews dreading Nazi occupation. The Nazis hated Sigmund Freud with a particular vehemence: they detested his soul-destroying glorification of the instinctual life. Here, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freud's oddly converging lives. He then zeroes in on Freud's last two years, during which, with the help of Marie Bonaparte, he was at last rescued from Vienna. He was brought safely to London, where he was honored as he never had been during his long, controversial life. At the same time, he endured the last of more than thirty operations for cancer of the jaw. Confronting certain death, Freud, in typical fashion, did not let fame make him complacent. Instead, he wrote his most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism, in which he questioned the legacy of the greatest Jewish leader.

Focusing on Freud's last two years, Edmundson is able to probe Freud's ideas about death, and also about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. Edmundson suggests new and important ways to view Freud's legacy at a time when these forces are once again shaping world events.The Death of Sigmund Freud is a thoroughly engaging, solidly informed, and beautifully written book . . . Edmundson's] writing is so good and so totally free of off-putting professional jargon that it draws the reader irresistibly into Edmundson's portrayal of Freud's last two years . . . a wonderful introduction . . . Those already familiar with Freud's writings can still learn much from this fine book.--Journal of American Medicine

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today . . . an engaging read . . . a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna . . . This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.--Los Angeles Times

Mr. Edmundson proves himself a deft and genial explicator . . . a superb mediation on two kinds of authority, and in its sober, qualified reverence for Freud, Mr. Edmundson provides an example of the kind of relationship to greatness that he is advocating. Mr. Edmundson presents us with a figure who still has the power to rouse us from our complacency, whose stern, exacting eyes continue to remind us that we are apt to forget: that we must work to change our lives.--The Sun

By tracing the intersecting stories of Sigmund Freud and Adolph Hitler in the days before World War II, Mark Edmundson sheds a fresh light on one of the most pressing questions of our day: the allure of fundamentalist politics and the threat it poses to the values of civilization. The Death of Sigmund Freud is a bracing, brilliant, and urgent book.--Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire

The Death of Sigmund Freud is a story about just how confused we are by our craving for authority. In Edmundson's riveting book Freud becomes at once more remarkable as a writer, and more ordinary as a person, a figure to be reckoned with rather than to revere. There has not been a better book on why Freud might matter now--and on why culture-heroes matter at all--for a very long time.--Adam Phillips, author of Side-Effects

The final shaping of the Promethean psychoanalyst's work amid the opening clashes of war and forebodings of holocaust. Previously acclaimed for his literary and cultural criticism, Edmundson uses Hitler's forced annexation of Austria in March 1938 as a matrix for assembling and framing the thought of Vienna resident Freud . . . Edmundson stresses the areas of Freud's work that pertain to sources of human conflict, both personal and collective. Nothing could be more hideously apt in the age of fascism than the analyst's theory regarding humankind's infantile and, he believed, eternal psychological yearning for authority figures. 'Freud pointed to the twofold horror of . . . the Patriarchal Complex,

"Synopsis" by ,

The Death of Sigmund Freud offers a compelling redescription of why the founder of psychoanalysis retains his relevance today…a stirring account of Freud's final months in Vienna…This is the disruptive legacy of Freud's last year, and Edmundson has found the words to bring it alive today.”—Los Angeles Times

When Hitler invaded Austria in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud was among the 175,000 Viennese Jews dreading Nazi occupation. Though Freud was near the end of his life—eighty-one years old, battling cancer of the jaw—and Hitlers rise on the world stage was just beginning, the fates of these two historical giants were nonetheless intertwined. In this gripping and revelatory historical narrative, Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freuds oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freuds escape to London, where he published his last and most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism.

By taking a close look at Freuds last years—years that coincided with the onset of the Second World War—Edmundson probes Freuds prescient ideas about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. At a time when these forces are once again shaping world events, The Death of Sigmund Freud suggests new and vital ways to view Freuds legacy.

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