Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: A Dream of Undying Fame: How Freud Betrayed His Mentor and Invented Psychoanalysis
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Psychoanalyst Louis Breger is also the author of Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. He wrote in the first chapter of this 2009 book, "few people today are aware that many of the essential features of psychoanalysis were first invented by Freud's older colleague, Josef Breuer, and can be found in the groundbreaking book they coauthored in 1985, Studies On Hysteria. In the lectures he gave on his trip to America in 1909, Freud said: 'If it is a merit to have brought psycho-analysis into being, that merit is not mine. I had no share in its earliest beginnings. I was a student... [when] Dr. Josef Breuer... made use of this procedure on a girl who was suffering from hysteria.' This is the plain truth, yet in subsequent publications, when his drive for fame had become more powerful, Freud gave a sinister twist to Breuer's work ... and increasingly took credit as the sole inventor of psychoanalysis." (Pg. 1-2)

He notes, "[In] the Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis that he delivered at Clark University in 1909... [Freud] gave his former collaborator [Breuer] credit for the invention of psychoanalysis... However, in his 1914 On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, he backs away from this position, minimizes Breuer's contribution, and gives greater emphasis to his own discoveries." (Pg. 41) He later adds, "In his quest for fame, Freud turned on Breuer and cut him out of his life entirely just a few years after 'Studies' was published. Breuer's daughter-in-law... recalled an incident many years later when Breuer, by then an old man, was walking in the street; he saw Freud approaching and instinctively opened his arms in greeting. Freud passed by as if he did not see him." (Pg. 84)

He states, "Freud's approach to treatment changed a good deal in the five years between 1887 and 1892... it is abundantly clear that all of [his patients] suffered from disturbing life events... Freud presented a picture of all these events, but one also sees the beginning of his sexual theories making their appearance... This substitution of sexuality for trauma and other actual events became more apparent in his final chapter in 'Studies.'" (Pg. 69) He adds, "This is the great mystery of Freud. After unearthing all the evidence of trauma, loss, abuse, moral self-reproach, and suppression of women, why did he neglect all these facts and completely invest himself in a theory of sexual conflict and repression?" (Pg. 82)

He argues, "Freud codified the technique of what came to be called classical psychoanalysis ... when his stature was established... When Freud followed these rules (which he often did not), his patients did not make much progress. His well-known published cases are failures... In contrast are patients... he never wrote or publicly spoke about---all of whom found their analyses very helpful. With these patients, what was curative was... a more open and supportive relationship, interpretations that fit their unique experiences... and the feeling that they were liked by their analyst..." (Pg. 104-105)

He concludes, "Josef Breuer was the first of Freud's collaborators to be rejected when he failed to completely agree with his colleague's ideas; not just rejected, but made the object of a false story that depicted him as a coward. Adler suffered the fate of explusion... Jung, who like Adler was working on his own ideas, was the next to be excommunicated, in 1913... Otto Rank was dropped... and Sandor Ferenczi... Those who disagreed with orthodox doctrines or came up with new ideas were blacklisted... The fate of these 'dissidents' was an object lesson to those who wished to remain within the movement. This was what would happen if they dared to raise questions about Freud and his doctrines." (Pg. 113-114)

This is a fascinating study, that will be of great interest to anyone studying Freud, and his ideas.
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Psychoanalyst Louis Breger is also the author of Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. He wrote in the first chapter of this 2009 book, "few people today are aware that many of the essential features of psychoanalysis were first invented by Freud's older colleague, Josef Breuer, and can be found in the groundbreaking book they coauthored in 1985, Studies On Hysteria. In the lectures he gave on his trip to America in 1909, Freud said: 'If it is a merit to have brought psycho-analysis into being, that merit is not mine. I had no share in its earliest beginnings. I was a student... [when] Dr. Josef Breuer... made use of this procedure on a girl who was suffering from hysteria.' This is the plain truth, yet in subsequent publications, when his drive for fame had become more powerful, Freud gave a sinister twist to Breuer's work ... and increasingly took credit as the sole inventor of psychoanalysis." (Pg. 1-2)

He notes, "[In] the Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis that he delivered at Clark University in 1909... [Freud] gave his former collaborator [Breuer] credit for the invention of psychoanalysis... However, in his 1914 On the History of the Psycho-Analytic Movement, he backs away from this position, minimizes Breuer's contribution, and gives greater emphasis to his own discoveries." (Pg. 41) He later adds, "In his quest for fame, Freud turned on Breuer and cut him out of his life entirely just a few years after 'Studies' was published. Breuer's daughter-in-law... recalled an incident many years later when Breuer, by then an old man, was walking in the street; he saw Freud approaching and instinctively opened his arms in greeting. Freud passed by as if he did not see him." (Pg. 84)

He states, "Freud's approach to treatment changed a good deal in the five years between 1887 and 1892... it is abundantly clear that all of [his patients] suffered from disturbing life events... Freud presented a picture of all these events, but one also sees the beginning of his sexual theories making their appearance... This substitution of sexuality for trauma and other actual events became more apparent in his final chapter in 'Studies.'" (Pg. 69) He adds, "This is the great mystery of Freud. After unearthing all the evidence of trauma, loss, abuse, moral self-reproach, and suppression of women, why did he neglect all these facts and completely invest himself in a theory of sexual conflict and repression?" (Pg. 82)

He argues, "Freud codified the technique of what came to be called classical psychoanalysis ... when his stature was established... When Freud followed these rules (which he often did not), his patients did not make much progress. His well-known published cases are failures... In contrast are patients... he never wrote or publicly spoke about---all of whom found their analyses very helpful. With these patients, what was curative was... a more open and supportive relationship, interpretations that fit their unique experiences... and the feeling that they were liked by their analyst..." (Pg. 104-105)

He concludes, "Josef Breuer was the first of Freud's collaborators to be rejected when he failed to completely agree with his colleague's ideas; not just rejected, but made the object of a false story that depicted him as a coward. Adler suffered the fate of explusion... Jung, who like Adler was working on his own ideas, was the next to be excommunicated, in 1913... Otto Rank was dropped... and Sandor Ferenczi... Those who disagreed with orthodox doctrines or came up with new ideas were blacklisted... The fate of these 'dissidents' was an object lesson to those who wished to remain within the movement. This was what would happen if they dared to raise questions about Freud and his doctrines." (Pg. 113-114)

This is a fascinating study, that will be of great interest to anyone studying Freud, and his ideas.
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on August 26, 2009
I devoured this page-turner in one sitting and never looked up. Not just one more biography of Freud, Breger's new book is an amazing feat of writing that combines unflinchingly honest scholarship with a breathtaking talent for riveting story telling. Impeccably edited, this concise volume will appeal not only to professionals, but to a wide range of readers who are interested in how intellectual history is shaped by a complex interface between the thing created and the personality of its creator.
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on June 9, 2010
. . . of Freud's strengths and shortcomings, structured around his "quest for undying fame," and a persuasive (if brief) analysis of "Studies in Hysteria," the landmark work that Breuer and Freud published in 1895. Breger's book is sharp and shrewd, and isn't unfair to Freud or Breuer. It's an excellent short character study of the two men, and a good, brief introduction to the origins of psychoanalysis.

Al Averbach
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on August 29, 2009
Dr. Breger's fine new book 'A Dream of Undying Fame: Freud's Betrayal of his Mentor and Discovery of Psychoanalysis' is a wonderful compliment to his earlier definitive biography on Freud, 'Darkness in the Midst of Vision'. Within a brief 100 plus pages, amazingly, and with a deliciously engaging and suspenseful style, Dr. Breger provides us with a step-by-step prelude to some of the most important discoveries in the history of Psychoanalysis. Ever aware of Freud's strange admixture of ambition and the need to be accurate and scientific, the author, with great precision, allows the reader to perceive the anxiety and self-doubt which plagues the great man who is too insecure to see his own potential for genuine genius, such that the fledgling innovator succumbs to the temptation of ill-gotten gain. Uniquely, and with the skill of a mystery writer, Breger invites us into the inner sanctum, the drawing rooms and session chambers where the muffled voices disclosing the secrets are not the patients but rather those who, indeed, have something shameful to hide. Yet, the author is able to do this without a trace of malice or j'accuse, rather a desire to uncover for the sake of truth and fidelity to science, which is supposed to be the very fabric of psychotherapy. Breger would be the last person to deny that Freud was a genius who gave us hundreds of brilliant insights into the pain and suffering of the human soul. However, at the same time, he understands, better than most, that character and telling the truth is paramount in conducting a healing cause for the patient, who, at the end of the day, will find this out for what it really is. And so, the truth must stand up on its own. With Breger's amazing, artful reportage, this truth is served to a profound degree and psychotherapists and patients, all, are in his debt. Jon Seirup, Ph.D.
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on January 21, 2010
Dr Breger's careful description of how both Breuer and Freud treated "Anna O" shows us the importance of listening to the patient's descriptions of what actually happened to them in their experience. Anna had been deprived of much of what she needed to feel confident and vital in her life. She suffered emotional and physical pain related to the, "fright, anger,shame,disgust, sadness, revenge, and guilt..." (p. 39) she was subjected to by parents who actually related to her in maladaptive and misattuned ways. In other words, her psychic pain was first caused by her experiences in real life. Breuer saw this and was committed to treating Anna in a way that was to help reveal these both known and unknown(unconscious)factors thus giving his patient a chance to understand their meaning(s) to her. In this way, she would be able to give up the debilitating defenses (both mental and physical)which kept her symptoms intact and her life miserable.

Freud agreed with this and continued the treatment as Breuer had done. Yet, as Breger shows, he changed his mind and started to develope a theory that would direct the clinician away from the actual events in a person's life and towards an assembled fiction of what was wrong with them; a fiction much relateded to his own anxiety causing experences of his childhood. Everyone was fixated on sex, the copulative, seduction of the opposite sex parent, and the horrid fear of the retaliatory,same sex parent. Of course there were some variations of this "universal scientific law" (pp. 91-98), but, by in large, the Oedipus, and,to a much lesser extent the more obscure, Electra complex would hold sway for the rest of Freud's life. Its contaminating meanings would control the halls of power in psychoanalysis for much of the 20th century.

Dr. Breger convincingly suggests the motivations that drove Freud in the relentless pursuit to gain the notoriety he thought he needed to have to become recognized as a great physician. Breger does cite the sometimes brillient insights that Freud could have on the human condition (unconscious motivations, transference etc). He gives proper credit to Freud's 1926 "striking about-face" of finally seeing that, "Anxiety is a 'signal' of 'danger,' the danger of the recurrence of a 'trauma,' the trauma being the 'loss of the love object or its love" (pp. 111-112). It is a tragedy that Sigmund Freud could not make this fundental change a correction of his universal scientific law which subsequently, has left so many people with unsatifying and unfinished results from their psychoanalytic treatments. Lou Breger has once again given us a clearer picture of why this is so.
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on September 22, 2009
Like a the effective teacher and psychoanalyst that he is, Professor Louis Breger helps the reader to come to understand Sigmund Freud, man and myth. Breger compassionately but honestly reveals Freud as fully human, subject to the range of psychological challenges, strengths and deficits known to all of us.

"If we wish to fully comprehend psychoanalysis, this is how we must see Freud: The discoverer of the unconscious who was, at the same time, unaware of many of his own motives; the greatest psychological theorist of the twentieth century, whose doctrines were often wrong; the man who developed a strikingly new method of treatment while at the same time encumbering it with rules that made it less than therapeutic."

Professor Breger vividly animates Freud's life story while educating the reader about the theory of psychoanalysis as he does so. Breger's perspective is unusual in my experience as a reader of Freud biographies. While he writes about Freud's life and work with compassion and respect, he also illuminates the contradictions, absurdities and myths that have surrounded Freud and psychoanalysis for decades.

If the reader wishes to learn a lot about Freud in a very few pages, I enthusiastically recommend this book If, at the end, the reader is left wanting more, I enthusiastically recommend Breger's far-reaching biography, Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision.
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on August 28, 2009
For 20 years I have sought in vain a single, short book that would introduce my students in European history to the life and theories of Sigmund Freud. In A Dream of Undying Fame, Louis Breger has produced the perfect work for this purpose. Author of a previous, brilliant biography of Freud, Breger here distills the thoughts, ideas, and judgments he has reached over decades as a psychoanalyst and professor of humanities to give us the father of psychoanalysis at some key moments of his intellectual and emotional journey. Blending historical understanding with psychological insight, Breger in a little over 100 compelling and fascinating pages, not only introduces you to the life and work of Freud, but judiciously places him in the intellectual and psychological context of his times. If you don't get all of Freud here, you do get enough crucial insights into the man's ambitions and theories to understand how deeply the two were intertwined. The book is a stunning accomplishment, particularly given its short format. If you have never read about Freud before, this is the perfect work of introduction to him. If you know Freud and his works well, you will come away from this book with new insights into the nature and scope of both his genius and his limitations.

Robert A. Rosenstone
Professor of History
California Institute of Technology
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on December 17, 2013
Freud's claims were so fantastic many people suspended reality and read Freud books as though novels. Berger sees through Freud with the clarity an innocent child the child saw through the Emperor's clothes and what both saw was ugly.
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