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Living in the Shadow of the Freud Family Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-0275994150 ISBN-10: 0275994155 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1 edition (April 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275994155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275994150
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,774,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Drawing on her late mother's memoirs, other family writings, and her own diary, Sophie Freud, the granddaughter of Sigmund Freud, chronicles the family's neurotic relationships over the course of the 20th century in Europe and the U.S. For example she reveals that her father was not considered suitable to marry her mother, because the famous psychoanalyst was just another psychiatrist and one who writes pornography at that, and that Dr. Freud was later asked to be her parents' marriage counselor. The book includes a Drucker-Freud family tree, photos, and portraits."

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Reference & Research Book News



"Merging memory and love, Sophie Freud has chronicled the struggles of her famous family and its stern patriarch in an affecting memoir of searing power and poignancy….[a] domestic saga that is a valuable document of our times….As if weaving a tapestry, she examines the Freud family legacy by stitching together memories of others, their letters, diaries and even obituaries….The effect is mesmerizing, even Proustian. Instead of writing a memoir that observes history from a single fixed perspective, Freud pulls her readers into her extended family's kaleidoscope lives over decades of personal drama and international conflict."

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The Daily News



"Imagine growing up in a home that fully embraced the Oedipus complex? Yeah, not so fun. Enter Sophie Freud, the grand-daughter of the granddaddy of psychoanalytic thought. Freud offers the repressed masses an inside glimpse into such a childhood….Her memoir chronicles the extended family through letters, diaries and recaps of personal experiences, exploring the triumphs and hardships of carrying the famous name."

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The Improper Bostonian



"From Paris, to Nice, to a refugee camp in Morocco, and then to New York, what this book makes clear is that it is impossible to leave all one's baggage behind….This collection of recollections and contemporary voices is an intriguing insight into the complexities of the family, all the more so because Sigmund Freud himself appears in a sort of cameo role, an incidental but influential presence. It is a fascinating read for scholars of Freud and family relationships alike, although for the interested layman it can be read purely for the soap-opera enjoyment of this complex family."

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Metapsychology Online Reviews

Review

"What is in fact most compelling about this book is the sublime honesty of Sophie Freud herself. One feels her pride and her suffering as a scion of psychoanalytic aristocracy."

(

Charles B. Strozier, Professor of History, John Jay College and the Graduate Center, CUNY

)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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I enoyed the book thoroughly and I think you will as well.
martin segal
These documents are the scaffolding of a compelling story of romance, marriage, betrayal, escape and ultimately, the need to reinvent one's self in another country.
A. Levin
Overall, the book provides unique insight into a complicated (and famous) family at an especially charged time in history.
K. Poverman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Levin on June 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sophie Freud, the author of this wonderful book, has kept a diary most of her life, as did her mother, Esti, along with many letters and documents of her fractured family. These documents are the scaffolding of a compelling story of romance, marriage, betrayal, escape and ultimately, the need to reinvent one's self in another country. Ms.Freud uses these papers (in French and German), along with her own commentary and that of her brother. The tale of her escape from Paris on a bicycle with her mother is vivid. She also uses photographs of her family and documents which increase the appeal of the book.

For anyone interested in a life of the twentieth century, with war, loss and emigration, this is a wonderful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lewis H. Miller, Jr. on August 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sophie Freud's recent book, Living Under the Shadow of the Freud Family, is most interesting and compelling. She masterfully interweaves perspectives on the private (and public) lives of her family and herself, thus offering a memoir that at times reads like a first-rate novel.

Professor Freud's wit, mischievousness, and clear-eyed vision pervades the various narratives and adds a most important and entertaining dimension--not only in her diary entries but in her numerous candid and often wonderfully blunt assessments of others (family members, professors, etc.) and in her self-reflexive comments (e.g. when she reflects puckishly that she may be writing this book to display her own achievements for the Annee Scolaire prize--"who knows, perhaps I am writing this book just for that purpose"). It is this kind of serious play, throughout, that makes this memoir so very readable and revealing, at the same time Sophie Freud's commentary or her mother's autobiographical narrative or numerous letters continue to remind readers of the shadow of her grandfather and other relatives (Tante Janne, her brother, her father, et al. ) and of the sinister shadow of Hitler and WW2 which impinges trenchantly on the lives of the Freud family, not to mention the world. I am reminded of the author, W.G, Sebald, photos included. In short, among other things, I have come away with a very deep and complex feeling for Professor Freud's mother, along with multiple insights into her own fascinating self.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By martin segal on August 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Sophie Freud's new book is more than a history of a famous family in the 20thc, but a history of the century in itself. The long arc of Germany's attempt to achieve at least European, if not worldwide, supremacy, is told through the eyes of a family that lived it.

The book is neither long nor hard to read, therefore, I was disappointed when Sophie thanks her editors for helping her cut it down. I want to read it all. Basically the book is Sophie's mother's autobiography. Said Ernestine, who liked to be called Esti married Martin Freud, one of Sigmund Freud's sons. She wrote her book late in her life, and her writings are in Roman type, whereas Sophie's comments are in italics, and thus this whole book which was written AND edited by Sophie becomes a dual biography.

Accompanying the stories of these 2 women are many, many letters written by other members of the Freud family, and from them we can make our own judgements about the people and compare them to the ones that Sophie makes. These other letters are in various fonts.

The mother, Esti, seems at first to be a simple lovely girl in love with Martin, but Sigmund says of her "she is not only maliciously meshugge but also mad in the medical sense." We see this in the early years of their marriage. Talk about dysfunctional families!

The family split up in 1938: Esti and Sophie went to Paris, and Martin and his son, Walter, went to London. For the next 4 years mother and daughter struggled to keep alive, to find decent lodging and food, and to keep barely one step ahead of Hitler as he ran down France. Vichy France became a haven for the Freuds for a while, but eventually they went to Casablanca and then to Lisbon, and finally to the USA.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K. Poverman on June 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a fascinating read, both in terms of family dynamics and world history. Through letters, diaries and commentary from various family members, Sophie Freud (Sigmund Freud's granddaughter) gives life to her mother Esti, including her troubled marriage to Freud's son Martin, her struggle to be accepted by the Freud family, and her difficult relationships with her children. The book also has moments of historic drama, such as when Sophie and her mother flee Paris by bicycle two days before the Nazis invade. There are also bits of humor, such as when the teenage Sophie's diary reveals that she is much more concerned about boys, her figure, and finishing her qualifying exams than she is about the approaching Nazis. Overall, the book provides unique insight into a complicated (and famous) family at an especially charged time in history. I really enjoyed it.Living in the Shadow of the Freud Family
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my mother and it wasn't what she expected at all,but she thought it was ok and it sounds like freud was kind of a dark man.A man with a dark personality that is.
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