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Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
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 theori ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published November 21st 2006 by Eminent Lives (first published 2006)
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Sep 21, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads
Having just done a refresher on Freud's psychoanalytic theories, I thought it might be worthwhile to pick up a biography for a peek at the man behind the Oepidal curtain. I admit without shame that I chose this one off the shelf for its brevity, as I wasn't sure my passing interest would sustain me through a more exhaustive treatment. By sheer chance, Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind turned out to be just what I was looking for - a quickly paced yet thorough synopsis of Freud's life paired wit ...more
May 06, 2009 Rachel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: psycology students, biography buffs
The glimpse Kramer gives us of the life and work of Freud is touching, sympathetic, critical, and brief.

I am not a student or a scholar of psychology, and this was the first work I've read on the subject. At times I found myself lost in the terminology of the subject, and I forced myself to reread some paragraphs in order to grasp their meaning. I relied on online psychology dictionaries to give me some of the background that the author assumed I already possessed. All in all, it is obvious tha
John McElhenney
Aug 07, 2008 John McElhenney rated it really liked it
While Freud set the framework for modern psycho-analysis, his methodologies and theories got the best of him. Freud was a brilliant thinker and poetic writer, but he believed his theories before they were proven, and then used his case studies to vet his preformed ideas. The expose of Freud's modern undoing is well done and well informed.
Bob Reutenauer
Aug 12, 2016 Bob Reutenauer rated it liked it
The Harper Perennial “Eminent Lives” series offers biographies that aim to be “succinct, essayistic, and enlivened by a strong point of view….great writers on great figures.” Kramer on Freud does the trick and more. This book aims to bring critical historical biography where hagiography or its opposite the “hatchet job” have held much of our attention. Is Freud a “savant or charlatan?” was a question in Vienna and beyond as early as the 1920s. Kramer answers affirmatively that he was both “inven ...more
Sep 29, 2012 Chuybacca rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone, people who don't know what to do with themselves and decide to major in psychology :-/
Shelves: auto-bio-memoir
With emphasis on further examination of Freud's famous case studies, Peter Kramer gives us an evenhanded account of Freud's influence on psychology as science (and on popular culture). Kramer makes us question Freud not only on the grounds of his bad judgment, bad practices, and bad science, but also of his displays of poor character. I found much of the information astounding and shocking. Some of it was so absurd (on Freud's part, not Kramer's) I laughed out loud. For example, in the case of " ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Eoin rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
An elegant assassination. Kramer dismantles the myth of Freud without malice or exaggeration - only calm, verifiable information. Going in, I had imagined Freud as a pioneer who had fallen out of favor, due for a pendulum swing. Kramer's (convincing) thesis is that Freud generalized and exaggerated known theories of the mind until they were false, claiming they were original. Worthy of the Eminent Lives Series.
Jan 23, 2015 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Freud does not come out of this looking good!
Rodrigo Nemmen
Nov 25, 2013 Rodrigo Nemmen rated it liked it
Good description of Freud's life and achievements. Along the way, the author summarizes his theories and psychoanalysis concepts: oedipus complex, fear of castration, penis envy, neurosis, root of religion, slips of tongue and many others. So the book serves as an overview of Freud's theories. However, my view of Freud was shaken after reading this book. The author was quite critical of Freud and constrasts his -- as the authors makes the point, outdated -- ideas with our current understanding o ...more
Jose Salgado-Wiggin
Mar 14, 2015 Jose Salgado-Wiggin rated it it was amazing
Dr. Kramer makes a great effort to be as objective as possible, he uses massive amounts of documents of different nature to obtain an integral perspective on the personal and professional life of Freud. The contrast between the ideal self that Freud pretended to have, and the actual reality of his monumental mistakes make the book not only historically interesting but also entertaining. It is inevitable to laugh at his exaggeration and craving of recognition and the tremendous limitations of his ...more
Apr 21, 2013 Synthia rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
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 detrac ...more
Michael Mena
Jan 24, 2016 Michael Mena rated it really liked it
Quick and enjoyable!
May 18, 2011 Ezekiel rated it liked it
I found this a little hard to read at times, it could be the fact I lack a background in psychology, or just the way it was written, I'm not sure. At times, it often seemed needlessly verbose. The book succeeds though, in both capturing and showcasing the breadth of freuds work and the inherent problems with his methods.
Aug 04, 2013 Shirley rated it liked it
I wanted to read this book because I learned some interesting and quirky things about Freud while on a web search. This book has quite a lot of information but it did not quite give me the information I wanted in the way I wanted to read it. I was looking for chronological and it jumped around a bit. Still a good read, though.
Jan 20, 2012 Jubeen rated it it was ok
It is a one sided book that criticizes Freud from the first chapter till the very last. Although it shines light on some aspect of his life, the author fails to create the trust for us to believe many of his claims, by not mentioning anything good about Freud at all, except couple of pages at the end of the book.
Telyse Masaoay
Dec 14, 2012 Telyse Masaoay rated it liked it

Very informative work. The brief overview was exactly what I needed for my research paper, but the interesting tidbits were very insightful. I thoroughly enjoyed the explanation of Freud's professional life accomplishments in relation to his personal life.
Shruti Garg
a journey through a life...a person of genius....i now realized he wasnt as much as we put him up to today...changed my insight and ideas of Freud
Sep 09, 2009 Allyne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: psychology
A brief but devastating intellectual biography of Freud.
Sep 01, 2012 Oan rated it really liked it
i need books on Freudian psychoanalysis

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