BREAKING DOWN THE WALL OF SILENCE by Alice Miller

BREAKING DOWN THE WALL OF SILENCE

The Liberating Experience of Facing Painful Truth

KIRKUS REVIEW

 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.

Pub Date: Oct. 18th, 1991
ISBN: 0-525-93357-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1991