9780940322073 / 0940322072

The Memory Wars


Publisher:New York Review Books



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About the book:

This volume contains two essays by Frederick Crews attacking Freudian psychoanalysis and its aftermath in the so-called "recovered memory" movement. The first essay reviews a growing body of evidence indicating that Freud doctored his data and manipulated his colleagues in an effort to consolidate a cult-life following that would neither defy nor upstage him. The second essay challenges the scientific and therapeutic claims of the rapidly growing recovered-memory movement, maintaining that its social effects have been devestating. Crews traces that movement to a Freudian precedent - not just to Freud's abandoned "seduction theory", but also to the most essential assumptions of psychoanalysis itself. When the essays were first published in the "New York Review of Books", therapists, patients, scholars and philosophers responded with numerous letters. Twenty-five of these were published, with Crews's replies. Most are gathered in the book, together with a new introduction describing the genesis of his pieces, and an epilogue considers the debate and its reverberations. Frederick Crews is the author of "Out of My System: Psychoanalysis, Ideology and Critical Method", "Skeptical Engagements" and "The Critics Beat It Away: American Fiction and the Academy", which won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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