Sunday, May 07, 2006

PSYCHOLOGY: Freud dissenter Frederick Crews' new book "Follies of the Wise"

Freud remains iconoclastic professor's most worthy opponent
Reviewed by Michael O'Donnell San Francisco Chronicle Sunday, May 7, 2006
REVIEW: Follies of the Wise Dissenting Essays By Frederick Crews, SHOEMAKER & HOARD; 405 PAGES; $26

When Frederick Crews published his review essay "The Unknown Freud" in the New York Review of Books in 1993, he fired the opening shot in what has become known as the "Freud wars," a ferocious clash over the father of psychoanalysis and his legacy. Crews, a former English professor at UC Berkeley, was by no means the first or the only scholar to attack Freud as a fraud or psychoanalysis as a pseudoscience, but his voice was the loudest and strongest, so his critics responded in angry torrents. The debate raged through the 1990s, traveling through other heady publications such as the (London) Times Literary Supplement and the New Republic to university conferences and even the Library of Congress, which opened a contentious Freud exhibition in 1998. Few public intellectual battles have been bloodier, or more fun to watch. .... more

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