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THE ESCAPE OF SIGMUND FREUD

An illuminating look at the end of the life of a giant of psychology.

An enjoyable small story about an incident in Sigmund Freud’s late life.

Freud was nearing the end of his life in 1938 when he finally agreed to leave Vienna as it succumbed to Nazi domination. Freud the atheist looked at himself as only a tribal Jew. He didn’t practice his faith and didn’t wish to accept the danger of remaining in Austria, but he didn’t wear blinders. To offset charges that psychoanalysis was a Jewish sect, Freud chose Ernest Jones, a Welsh Methodist, as his biographer. Cohen’s (Psychologists on Psychology, 1985) opinion of that biography could not be clearer as he chips away at Jones’ writing; he notes that Jones left out salient facts. Cohen is not a biographer but a psychologist, and this book is much more an analysis of Freud, his daughter and other relevant characters. The author illuminates the reasons for his facts carefully and clearly. Freud’s distinction as the father of psychoanalysis ensured aid from many sources to leave Vienna. Diplomats in Vienna, France, America and England, his biographer and his patient, Marie Bonaparte, all worked tirelessly to facilitate the departure of Freud’s party. Possibly the most influential was Anton Sauerwald, who was appointed by the Nazis to control the family’s assets and their psychoanalytic publishing house. It was he who not only cleared the bureaucratic paperwork necessary for the Freud party, but also took responsibility to ship over 1,000 items to him in England.

An illuminating look at the end of the life of a giant of psychology.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-59020-673-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Overlook

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS

FROM MEAN STREETS TO WALL STREET

Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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