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The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days by Mark Edmundson

The Death of Sigmund Freud: Fascism, Psychoanalysis and the Rise of Fundamentalism - Mark Edmundson



Description: When Hitler invaded Vienna in March of 1938, Sigmund Freud, old and desperately ill, was among the city's 175,000 Jews dreading Nazi occupation. The Nazis hated Sigmund Freud with a particular vehemence: they detested his "soul-destroying glorification of the instinctual life." Here Mark Edmundson traces Hitler and Freud's oddly converging lives, then zeroes in on Freud's last two years, during which, with the help of Marie Bonaparte, he was at last rescued from Vienna and brought safely to London. There he was honored as he never had been during his long, controversial life. At the same time he endured the last of more than thirty operations for cancer of the jaw. Confronting certain death, Freud, in typical fashion, did not let fame make him complacent, but instead wrote his most provocative book, Moses and Monotheism, in which he questioned the legacy of the greatest Jewish leader. Focusing on Freud's last two years, Edmundson is able to probe Freud's ideas about death, and also about the human proclivity to embrace fascism in politics and fundamentalism in religion. Edmundson suggests new and important ways to view Freud's legacy, at a time when these forces are once again shaping world events.

1/5 Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud is beset by illness, and the threat of Hitler invading Austria.

2/5 The Nazis enter Freud's house, and he fears for his family as interrogations begin, read by Anton Lesser.

3/5 Freud faces more demands from the Nazis - can he escape to freedom before it's too late.

4/5 Freud is installed in St John's Wood in London, and Salvador Dali comes to tea.

5/5 Freud prepares for his final publishing success, and the return of a mortal foe - cancer. The great psychiatrist's last years, read by Anton Lesser.

Subjectively and initially, I wanted to rant about how I would not have liked this human being, his conclusions, his arrogance or elitism, however it has got to be said this was a cracking bio. It was great to see those London days through the eyes of someone else's writing and research, and I came away with much more understanding of the man and his ideas. I even want to read his Moses book, how about that for major flip-flopping!

This is excellent fayre.