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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent expose'
Kramer's lucid writing style is refreshing.This small volume will give the reader a critical review of Freud's major writings. Highlights of Freud's biography add spice to the narrative. Kramer uses our contemporary knowledge in psychiatry to rediagnose some of Freud's patients.I got a deeper understanding of some of the famous cases like Anna O,Dora, the Wolf Man the Rat...
Published on December 31, 2006 by Princeton Reader

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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pretentious but not accurate
The author is seemingly more interested in promoting himself rather than bother about the facts. When I contacted the author on his long abandoned web site pointing a factual error about Freud's family I got no reply or acknowledgement. On page 19 the book asserts that Emmanuel and Phillip (Freud's half brothers) occasionally helped financially their stepfather. But they...
Published on September 27, 2010 by Yuri


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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent expose', December 31, 2006
This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
Kramer's lucid writing style is refreshing.This small volume will give the reader a critical review of Freud's major writings. Highlights of Freud's biography add spice to the narrative. Kramer uses our contemporary knowledge in psychiatry to rediagnose some of Freud's patients.I got a deeper understanding of some of the famous cases like Anna O,Dora, the Wolf Man the Rat Man. Like many, Kramer agrees that Freuds impact on the development of the field of psychotherapy and psychological thinking have been hugh. Freud was not perfect.This book help highlight the imperfections. More than that,it helps clarify in a short space, work that took Freud years and years to develop and 23 volumes of the Standard edition to Express.Like Freud,Kramer is a very talented writer as this and his other four volumes show.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short, readable, objective, March 21, 2007
This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
This is an excellent, objective, and readable evaluation of the work and legacy of Sigmund Freud. Those who put this in the "Freud bashing" category appear not to desire an objective evaluation of Freud as a clinician nor as a scientist: Kramer presents the reader with such in a lively and precise way. He also presents the impact that Freud's ideas had on Western culture, and it is here where the impact of Freud is beyond question. Whether this impact has been for ill or good is open to question, speaking generally or more specifically in psychiatric and psychological science.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Pay no attention to the man behind the Oedipal curtain, October 20, 2014
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Jennifer Grey (Jacksonville, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
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 with an examination of the most popular of his theories.

As I'm a bit disinclined to the Freudian approach, it was quite lovely to watch Kramer call bulls*** on case study after case study and to expose Freud's utter lack of scientific rigour. In fact, based on the historical context provided by the author (which described how treatment of the mentally ill had started, before Freud became a fad, to focus on possible hereditary influences exacerbated by environmental factors), I got the very strong impression that Freud and his sexual hangups actually managed to set psychology back about fifty years.

Kramer is careful, however, to give the devil his due, and cites the most lasting of his influences, including his popularization of such now-common terms as 'projection' and 'identification.' He also credits Freud with something that's inarguable - a sheer, breath-taking scope of vision. Whether you buy into that vision or think it's utter crap, it's hard not to be at least a little impressed by the man who dared to dream it up.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, October 5, 2011
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Fluent, timely, and clear-eyed, this reassessment of Freud's life is highly recommended. With his trademark learning and elegance, Kramer dissects Freud's legacy. An up-to-date assessment of the master's contribution.
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8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars pretentious but not accurate, September 27, 2010
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Yuri "Yuri" (Queens, New York) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
The author is seemingly more interested in promoting himself rather than bother about the facts. When I contacted the author on his long abandoned web site pointing a factual error about Freud's family I got no reply or acknowledgement. On page 19 the book asserts that Emmanuel and Phillip (Freud's half brothers) occasionally helped financially their stepfather. But they did not have a stepfather. Sig's father, Jacob, was also their father rather than a stepfather.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This readable book introduces the concept "the unconscious" to any interested reader., May 4, 2013
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Everyone should know the work of this great writer, thinker and psychologist. He did create a remarkable gateway into human unconscious conflict and its effects on normal life. This book seems easy to grasp.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent book, June 6, 2013
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I bought this book as a required supplemental reading for a college course. Overall the book is well written and well organized.
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12 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freud's frauds were not the true measure of the man, February 23, 2007
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This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
The "Eminent Lives" series has some great writing and equally good research into some of the most significant people to walk the Earth (with the exception of Armstrong's book on Mohammed).

Kramer does a good job of taking Freud off the pedestal that many have used to create an altar for an atheist. But by showing Freud to be a mere human, he goes out of his way to point out his opinion that Freud, with all his faults, was "The Inventor of the Modern Mind."

While I don't personally agree with Kramer's evaluation of Freud any more than I did with a lot of his opinions in his "Listening to Prozac" book, this is a book worth reading to get a far better balanced view of a man who was responsible for much of our modern day vocabulary in dealing with our fellow humans.

Freud had a lot of dumb ideas, was a shameless self-promoter, ignored his own research, invented and lied about the complex nature of some of his patients, but at the end of the day, as Kramer points out, was one of the humans to leave the Earth with a net plus on his life ledger. Unfortunately some of his patients paid the price of his opinions with their lives in ruins, but it will be up to your own value system to determine whether this was worth it. After all, many Clinton supporters agree with his view that the lives of a million Tutsi were not worth the life of a single American as he allowed the most intense genocide in the history of mankind in the modern era to occur on his watch. His approval ratings must make him "right."

If you don't want to buy this book and see it in a bookstore, just take five minutes to read the last chapter to see that Kramer holds Freud in high regard using this measuring stick.

This is not a "five-star" book, but i gave it that rating to balance the superficial reviews by Freud groupies who read this book with blinders on, if they read it at all.
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10 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Was Freud a fraud?, March 6, 2007
By 
N. Ravitch (Savannah, GA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
No, he wasn't. But he was much more an imaginative investigator, something of a literary and romantic writer more than a scientist, not at all what people imagine. Like Marx before him, many of his theories can be refuted but his influence and insight remain valuable. Marx and Freud will remain important critics of traditional society and of the bourgeois order which poorly replaced it. The truths they taught were less literally true than insightfully stimlulating for all time.

Peter Kramer is at once an admirer and a critic of Freud who has, however, a perfect right to be both, but he fails to write a really persuasive apercu of Freud. Kramer knows his Freud and his psychology but he is not firm in historical knowledge. The book does not impress.
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20 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Freud bashing, ho hum, November 30, 2006
This review is from: Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind (Hardcover)
Freud bashing has become almost as respectable as Bush bashing, and just as uninteresting. A review of this book in the N.Y. Sun by another Freud-basher, Ronald Dworkin, attacks Freud for his lack of "scientific rigor," trying to name things (psychical structures) that, according to Dworkin, simply don't exist. The problem is, for Freud, they do exist, at least so far as any mental states exist. The scientific rigor of psychoanalysis comes from Freud's explanations of human behavior, the sole conduit to the positing of any mental states at all. At any rate, such explanations, when they are presented in the better case studies, are compelling stories of human beings, and we often recognize them as such. It is admittedly fun to read about Freud's foibles and idiosyncracies, his friendship with Fleiss, his cocaine use, his skirmishes with the Gestapo, etc., but they are much more nicely summed up in the work of Peter Swales, if one can find it, and Peter Gay's magnificent biography, Freud: A Life for Our Time. Books such as the present one are simply irrelevant.
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Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind
Freud: Inventor of the Modern Mind by Peter D. Kramer (Hardcover - November 21, 2006)
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