Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Freud

The Freuds - Biography of a Family by Eva Weissweiler is a book that certainly keeps the promise made in the title. Sigmund Freud is of course the main protagonist, but unlike most Freud biographies, the life of his family is also explored in depth. It's a huge family, Freud had seven siblings and six children himself. That's the strength of the book, it's a great overview over the extended family and it's a fascinating story.

The portrayal of Freud himself is the great weakness. He certainly wasn't comfortable to live with and not the impeccable character he's sometimes describes as, but I got the distinct feeling that the author was on a crusade to make him look bad. Some research later I found out that letters are quoted out of context and rumors are presented as fact. Weissweiler turned up a lot of interesting facts, but it's not that easy to separate fact from guesswork and conjecture.

I would still recommend reading the book if you are interested in learning more about the family. If you want to learn about Freud himself, there definitely are better books out there.

30th book for the Library Challenge - yay, I've reached the fist level of the challenge, the Mini. I intend to do the Mega, 51+ books, though.

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