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SIGMUND FREUD by Kathleen Krull Kirkus Star


From the Giants of Science series

by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-670-05892-0
Publisher: Viking

Krull lives up to the promise of the first two entries in her Giants of Science series with this lucid and thoughtful examination of Freud’s life, work and legacy. Sketching out the state of mental health care in the 19th century, she makes a convincing case for the real and lasting good done by Freud in his insistence that emotional health is inextricably linked to physical health, and his conviction that talk therapy is a key to healing. Such tricky concepts as the relationship of the conscious to the unconscious, the tripartite construction of the mind into id, superego and ego, the Oedipus complex and the interpretation of dreams receive just enough detail for clarity, but not so much as to mire the reader in psychological arcana or mumbo-jumbo. Criticism shares space with appreciation, perhaps more so than in previous volumes in the series, as Freud’s circularity of reasoning and his fondness for such patriarchal assumptions as penis envy come under heavy questioning. To tactfully admit young readers into such a contentious dialogue is no mean feat, and marks this offering as truly stellar. (Biography. 10+)