Freud: The Making of an Illusion

Frederick C. Crews

Freud: The Making of an Illusion

Freud: The Making of an Illusion

  • Title: Freud: The Making of an Illusion
  • Author: Frederick C. Crews
  • ISBN: 9781627797177
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Hardcover

From the master of Freud debunkers, the book that definitively puts an end to the myth of psychoanalysis and its creatorSince the 1970s, Sigmund Freud s scientific reputation has been in an accelerating tailspin but nonetheless the idea persists that some of his contributions were visionary discoveries of lasting value Now, drawing on rarely consulted archives, FrederickFrom the master of Freud debunkers, the book that definitively puts an end to the myth of psychoanalysis and its creatorSince the 1970s, Sigmund Freud s scientific reputation has been in an accelerating tailspin but nonetheless the idea persists that some of his contributions were visionary discoveries of lasting value Now, drawing on rarely consulted archives, Frederick Crews has assembled a great volume of evidence that reveals a surprising new Freud a man who blundered tragicomically in his dealings with patients, who in fact never cured anyone, who promoted cocaine as a miracle drug capable of curing a wide range of diseases, and who advanced his career through falsifying case histories and betraying the mentors who had helped him to rise The legend has persisted, Crews shows, thanks to Freud s fictive self invention as a master detective of the psyche, and later through a campaign of censorship and falsification conducted by his followers.A monumental biographical study and a slashing critique, Freud The Making of an Illusion will stand as the last word on one of the most significant and contested figures of the twentieth century.

Recent Comments "Freud: The Making of an Illusion"

Of the most famous and notable people of all time, Sigmund Freud ranks high on the list, along with Jesus of Nazareth and William Shakespeare. Frederick C. Crews PhD is professor Emeritus of English at the University of California, Berkley: a distinguished scholar and critic of Psychoanalysis and Recovered Memory Therapy. “Freud: The Making of an Illusion” is Crew’s extensive and sharp literary critique of Freud, his career, scientific psychological theories and writings. As a brilliant Je [...]

Adamancy is the word for both Sigmund Freud and Frederick Crews.In his new biography, “Freud: The Making of an Illusion,” the UC Berkeley professor emeritus castigates the fraudulent founder of psychoanalysis for a rigid, even authoritarian personality antithetical to science. In fact, Crews points out, others preceded Freud in the development of psychoanalysis, but Freud not only wrote them out of history, but he also formed a secret committee of apostles to excommunicate anyone who dared t [...]


For me this book was one of those to be glad I was finished with. Not glad I read it, glad I was finished and persevered. Slogging through the six hundred plus pages was an exercise in psychological will. Having said that I will admit the book had merit in exposing Dr. Freud for all his various motives and manipulations. Not really a biography but an academic like dissection of how Freud formulated his at one time vaunted theories on the workings and machinations of the human mind.A number of th [...]

I had concluded that Freud was an unscientific, self-promoting fraud. Frederick Crews marshals the evidence for that in a most rigorous and convincing way, but who, other than a career-dependent scholar or a zealot, could be bothered reading the blow-by-blow account of his terminal defamation?

Why, even in the 21st Century, does Sigmund Freud continue to loom so large in the popular imagination (a la Freudian Slips and Oral Stages)? Yes, his legacy as a pioneering thinker/authority/genius who solved the mysteries of the mind is appealing, but is that legacy deserved? What, exactly, were Freud’s contributions to therapy, good or bad? It’s not an exaggeration to say that debunking Sigmund Freud has become the life’s work of Berkley professor Terry Crews. “Freud: The Making of an [...]

I adored this book, and any anti-Freudian will as well. Admittedly Crews approach is coated with bias and some of his criticisms and logical leaps about Freud are probably more informed by this than by the evidence - although unlike Freud he will always offer some sort of basis to his theories. The one argument I hear about Freud is that 'At least he brought x or y theory to the forefront' when his actual methods/lack of any evidence is criticised. This book highlights the fact that he did no su [...]

Meticulously researched and a fascinating read.

Who was Sigmund Freud, and why is Frederick Crews dressing him down, and why at this time? Freud, as the world has long known, was the founder of psychoanalysis, a "therapeutic" method (Fred never really called it such) that, it was said, would free mankind from his neuroses by bringing unconscious fantasies and traumas to light, thereby releasing their hold on the psyche. Freud was the great liberator, revealing to one and all how the murderous/sexual drives of our early childhood, thought to b [...]

By a hundred pages into this book two things are clear. the first is that this book was obviously well-researched and compiled. the second is that the author has his own agenda. while there are many direct quotes from Freud and those who knew him, the author often expands on the quotes with unsubstantiated claims as to how the speaker must have felt while writing their words, or what the relationship between people must have been like, or how a certain action of another was experienced by Freud. [...]

From the full review [available attheorangepress/woid/woid21]:"The only accusation missing from Crews’ book is the part where Freud sticks a dagger into a Communion wafer to watch it bleed."

About 25 years ago I read a biography of Freud based on the recommendation of a friend. Without much knowledge of his actual beliefs, I thought Freudian analysis was pretty much a hobby for rich people. My friend said Freudian thought represented real insight into the human condition. So I picked up a biography to learn more. I don't remember which one it was, but I clearly remember getting to the part where "Wolfman" describes his dream of wolves in a tree outside his house and Freud declares i [...]

Crews, like Freud, knows how to write a page-turner and turn a phrase. And it seems that he's performed no end of research. But the tone of the book is not so much one of righteous anger as that of hatred for Freud the man. Suggestive modifiers abound - you can do a lot of unfair damage with adjectives and adverbs, and like a significant other who has turned on a partner, even Freud's seemingly benevolent actions are painted with disgust as evidence of poor motivations. Passages from his engagem [...]

Back around 60 years ago, if you criticized Freud, the Freudian world would attack in its own peculiar way. They would not address your criticisms but would impugn your sanity. Since then, letters, documents, and eye witness memoirs made Freud's sins against science, individuals, and professional ethics all too clear. There was too much evidence to say that a critic hated Freud because he/she really hated a father or mother. Evidence which had been embargoed for decades is now pouring out. Freud [...]

Before reading this, I thought I'd enjoy a thorough thrashing of Freud, but it has in fact quite depressed me and made me loath to pick the book up near the end. It's magnificent work, nothing if not thorough and Freud's ridiculous ideas that retarded psychology for more than a century always need dressing down, but the portrait that emerges of him as an incompetent, insensitive, sexually frustrated, sycopanthic, somewhat lecherous, misogynistic, lying and plagiarising social climber is such an [...]

I struggled to give this text 3 stars, but did so for what seemed like voluminous research on the part of Crews. It is certainly not groundbreaking to suggest that illuminaries, and Freud in particular, are subject to historical revision by their followers. Indeed, facts are facts and are always welcome. However, Freud is not credited for a method that has stood the test of time and remains relevant at any point in cruises work. Crews provides little room for Freud's achievements as a painstakin [...]

Having always been suspicious of Freud this was a very intriguing read for me. I have questioned his methodologies and theories since first studying him and was always interested in a more behind-the-scenes picture of him. Crews really delved into the life of Freud to reveal a darker, seedier version of Freud than most may be used to. It is an interesting read, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone studying him or in the field of psychology.

Crews has an ax to grind. So unrelentingly polemical it seems personal. Freud comes across as a monstrous huckster more afield than Jung. There are a lot of quotes and "if this, then that" and the assertion that everything Freudian has been disproved.

Started but did NOT like it at all! Seem the writer intentionally trying to demean Sigmund Freud though an inflammatory approach which os out of the context of psychology. I started but dropped it soon.

FascinatingFreud was truly an evil man.

Interesting, largely focuses on early career/cocaine years. Might have liked more on later career/continuation into how psychoanalysis progressed after his death.

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