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Breaking Down the Wall of Silence: The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth Paperback – January 1, 1997
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The culture that ignores roots of hatred and tyranny embedded in its own childrearing traditions, warns Miller, renders itself ripe for payback. Her analyses of the likes of Hitler and Nicolae Ceausescu lend epic significance to her point. Her disclosure of her own abuse gives her plea for truth a potent intimacy that brings the issue home to us all. She calls on society at large to condemn poisonous methods of discipline and, with the eloquence of a survivor, points the way to a liberating awareness for victims whose past still exerts a devastating grip. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A curiously defensive work, continuing the author's studies on child abuse and how it molds tyrants. Miller (Banished Knowledge, 1990, etc.) is both prolific (this is her third book in two years) and eloquent in her continuing indictment of parents who abuse their children and societies that tolerate such behavior. Generally, she speaks most directly to the traditional pattern of German families, where the father is tyrant, and the punishment is ``for your own good'' (the title of one of her books). From this pattern are bred fascist leaders like Hitler and Stalin. She now adds Ceausescu of Romania, with a convincing analysis of the childhood that produced a man who could warehouse babies. No doubt an analysis of Saddam Hussein will follow. It is troublesome, however, that this book seems to be a vehicle to get back at her critics. Miller lashes out at the media and the psychoanalytic establishment for minimizing her theories, using the same kind of circular reasoning that she says psychoanalysts use: You can't face the truth because you can't face the truth. Choppy and disjointed, full of Miller quoting herself, and best saved only for those collecting the complete Alice Miller. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Miller is unique in her writings because she is always on the side of the child, either the actual child or the child that still resides within us.
However, she includes very broad, and I think, grossly unfair indictments of pretty much all those in the helping professions -- indicating if one we would listen to a person's childhood story, perhaps they could heal (instead of having our own agenda, etc.) To me, Miller loses credibility with this book (the second I've purchased of hers, the first being The Drama of the Gifted Child, which I loved and felt was very insightful.)
Clearly, Miller had a HORRIBLE experience in the profession she writes so scathingly about -- and that is too bad, because, my experience has been there are MANY EXCEPTIONAL people in the helping professions, who are listening, and helping others achieve deep healing.
Still a good read but the personal axe got old pretty quickly, for me.
Dr. Alice Miller has indeed shed new light to where evil and abuse is created. We are still in the Dark Ages of how truly one is effected by pain, abandonment, neglect, threats, ritualistic beatings, isolation, spankings, intimidating looks, witnessing abuse and horror,lost, frightened, screams not answered, not comforted and so on as a newborn and throughout his formative years.
The irony is, we as a society will not and can not take responsibility of our own creation of evil and hatred due to ignorance, arrogance and denial.