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The Assault on Truth

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In 1896, Sigmund Freud presented his revolutionary “seduction theory,” arguing that acts of sexual abuse and violence inflicted on children are the direct cause of adult mental illness. Nine years later, Freud completely reversed his position, insisting that these sexual memories were actually fantasies that never happened. Why did Freud retract the seduction theory? And w ...more
Kindle Edition, 306 pages
Published March 8th 2012 by Untreed Reads Publishing (first published 1984)
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Erik Graff
Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: psychoanalysis fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: psychology
I became interested in the history of psychiatry and psychology in college, obtaining a degree on the subject in seminary and pursuing the study afterwards in graduate school. Indeed, by the end of college I fully expected to become a depth psychologist.

While, as with so many other interests, I've kept my hand in since, reading the books I come across on these matters, I gave up the idea of a career in the field through the ancient Chinese method of "a thousand cuts". The church-based program I
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theory
Masson's book is a scholarly critique of Freud's foundational thought on the unconscious and childhood sexuality. Using material from Freud's archives previously unpublished, he seeks to show how Freud's original view that neurotic adults suffered sexual abuse as children should have been pursued rather than his revised view that such neurotics suffered from their childhood sexual fantasies. I found his argument compelling and particularly admired the weight of evidence he adds from medical view ...more
Jan 15, 2016 added it
I am not rating this book because I did not finish it. While I am interested in the topic of how Freud perceived victims of sexual abuse and how he later changed his stance; I made it about halfway through the book and could no longer tolerate the frequent descriptions of child sexual abuse. I think they were excessive and after the first few, did not lend support to the material in my opinion.

There is the very real likelihood that I am not capable of understanding and appreciating the author's
Jul 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A grad school favorite, still red-hot in its revelations and controversies.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have complicated feelings about this book. Masson does a fantastic job of highlighting the misogyny of the medical field at the time (even though he avoids looking at the issue through a feminist lens), and it is highly disturbing how ready doctors were to discount disclosures of abuse as ‘hysterical lies’

My main issue, and something that really detracts from his arguments, is the blind acceptance of the validity of both the psychoanalytical method and the theory underpinning it.

There’s no ac
Paul Bustion
Jeffrey Masson attacks Freud for refusing to believe his patients' claims that they were sexually abused by their parents or others nearest and dearest to them. Freud claimed that these patients actually had sexual attraction to their parents that caused them dream of sex with their parents, which made them have false memories of being sexually abused. Masson says Freud covered up the truth because his friend Wilhelm Fliess was a pedophile who sexually molested his own son. Masson may be correct ...more
Heidi Garrett
After reading Hysterical Anna Freud , this came up on some list for me somewhere:) Curious, I downloaded the sample. It hooked me. A very interesting read, I'm adding it to my"gothic literature" shelf, because I feel like it belongs there. Atmospheric, troubling, sexually perverse...or perhaps just an illumination of the impact of being factually perverse, it made for a thought-proviking read. Mostly it discusses Freud's weird flip from ascribing the etiology of "hysteria" to actual sexual assaults to fantasized ...more
Jul 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who questions the fundamental tenets of therapy and psychoanalysis
This book confirmed my own personal suspicions about everything related to psychology, shattering the fundamental basis of therapy. Assault on Truth ascribes personal history the fundamental role of forming our futures, our understandings, and our beliefs. This observation is contrasted with the modern belief of people's problems stemming from invention in their own mind.

If you are a psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, or other similar field you will probably get very mad while reading
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: author
Shelves: read-long-ago, women
most people don't know what Freud wrote.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson 1941- was a Sanskrit specialist who trained as a psychoanalyst in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. During his training he became close friends with the distinguished psychoanalyst Kurt Eissler and later became acquainted with Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud's daughter, both members of psychoanalysis' inner circle. His psychanalytic practice was not very successful but, based on
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Untreed Reads: Now In Ebook! Jeffrey Masson’s THE ASSAULT ON TRUTH 1 2 May 03, 2012 03:24PM  

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He has written several books books critical of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychiatry as well as books on animals, their emotions and their rights.

He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife, two sons, three cats and three rats.

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