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Escape of Sigmund Freud Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 29, 2012

3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A tantalizing exploration of Freud's escape from Vienna . . . [Cohen's] writing is passionate, sometimes wry, and always gripping."
(-Independent )

"The author illuminates the reasons for his facts carefully and clearly . . . An illuminating look at the end of the life of a giant of psychology."
(--Kirkus Reviews )

"A very quirky, highly entertaining biography of Sigmund Freud..engrossing"


"Cohen's scrupulous research will interest historians of interwar intellectual life and Freud's later years. An appendix guides readers to who-is-who in the extended family, for Freud was obsessively loyal and devoted to a set of confusingly numerous relations."

About the Author

DAVID COHEN is a writer, filmmaker, and psychologist. His books include Psychologists on Psychology and biographies of the therapist Carl Rogers and of John B. Watson, the founder of behaviorism. His films include When Holly Went Missing and The Pleasure Principle. He lives in London.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook Hardcover (March 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590206738
  • ASIN: B00B1L1H9K
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,257,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
When I first read the title, I thought this book would be an engrossing account of Freud's close escape out of Nazi Europe and the man that helped him. Instead, this book is a very dry and unorganized summary of Freud's various books, essays and beliefs. There is very little about Freud's escape out of Europe and it is buried in a haze of other topics including Freud's belief in Judaism, Freud vs Jung, and summarizing Moses and Monotheism. In the middle of the book, the author even unprofessionally goes into his own family history which made me wince and distracted me.

If you are looking for details on Freud's books/beliefs than you may be interested in this book. However, if you are after a purely engrossing historical narrative about escaping the Nazis, I would look elsewhere.
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Format: Hardcover
I often tell my daughter that a good song should catch my attention within 5 seconds. I call it the 5 Second Rule. But for books I'm a little more liberal and have what I call The 10 Page Rule. This book didn't catch my attention until page 162. It's probably a good book for someone who is researching the life of Sigmund Freud but it does not get into Freud's escape from Nazi Germany until more than halfway through the book. It's like a mini biography. The title is deceiving. I had to pour through Freud's genealogy, his cold relationship with Jung and his psychoanalytic theories before I could get to the actual action. Was it worth the wait? Not really. He got help escaping from the most uncommon source, whom I would have liked to have learned more about. Again for research purposes this might not be a bad selection. For general reading, not so good. One star out of five.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished this book and I think it is a fine piece of research. Thank you, David Cohen, for doing the work. It is an interesting book. Well written, measured and informative.
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Format: Hardcover
Playing in a Freudian intellectual comfort zone. Leonard and Virginia Woolf visited Freud and found "something about him of the half-extinct volcano, something somber suppressed, reserved," (p. 217). Freud told Virginia Woolf that Hitler "would have been infinitely worse" (p. 218) if the Germans had won the First World War.

Germany could have made the world much worse in the twentieth century if it had been able to impose its will in the ways that Nietzsche and Freud feared. American culture is a form of denial of the number of books that have been produced by people who share some insights gained by Nietzsche and Freud. Religion is one form such denial takes. Freud was eager to have an English translation of Moses and Monotheism published before he died in September, 1939, so the most interesting time in the book for me follows the operation of September, 1938, when Freud was able to resume seeing patients, but a later operation was botched, Freud's doctor went to America before a visa expired in April, 1939, and Freud finished An Outline of Psychoanalysis, in which military metaphors for ego "States of conflict and turbulence alone can further our knowledge." (p.221).

Transference works for me and rock and roll as endless recapitulations of my year in Vietnam and a week I spent in Cambodia in May, 1970. I was worried about being drafted 30 years after Freud had an operation for cancer of the jaw. Analysis is best as "a safe space where one can play, pretend, and explore possibilities." (p. 223). Freud was hoping for control of "our chaotic, aggressive, and destructive impulses, to some extent at least. Self-knowledge is power." (p. 222). My shrink told me I was the most intelligent person he had ever met because I was sharing intuitive knowledge of how subjectively active evil genius theory using humor of the Vietnam War to see how pornography of power works could reeducate others "to create humans in his own image" (p. 222) as much as Freud wanted to.
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