Inventor of the Modern Mind

By Peter D. Kramer

HarperCollins Publishers, Hardcover, 9780060598952, 213pp.

Publication Date: November 2006


Often referred to as "the father of psychoanalysis," Sigmund Freud championed the "talking cure" and charted the human unconscious. But though Freud compared himself to Copernicus and Darwin, his history as a physician is problematic. Historians have determined that Freud often misrepresented the course and outcome of his treatments so that the facts would match his theories. Today Freud's legacy is in dispute, his commentators polarized into two camps: one of defenders; the other, fierce detractors.

Peter D. Kramer, himself a practicing psychiatrist and a leading national authority on mental health, offers a new take on this controversial figure, one both critical and sympathetic. He recognizes that although much of Freud's thought is now archaic, the discipline he invented has become an inescapable part of our culture, transforming the way we see ourselves. Freud was a myth-maker, a storyteller, a writer whose books will survive among the classics of our literature. The result of Kramer's inquiry is nothing less than a new standard history of Freud by a modern master of his thought.

About the Author
Peter D. Kramer, M.D., "possibly the best-known psychiatrist in America" (New York Times), is the bestselling author of Listening to Prozac, Should You Leave?, Spectacular Happiness, Moments of Engagement, and Against Depression. He lives in Providence, Rhode Island, where he is a professor at Brown University and maintains a private practice.