Since the 1970s, Sigmund Freud’s scientific reputation has been in an accelerating tailspin - but nonetheless the idea persists that some of his contributions were visionary discoveries of lasting value. Now, drawing on rarely consulted archives, Frederick Crews has assembled a great volume of evidence that reveals a surprising new Freud: a man who blundered tragicomically in his dealings with patients, who in fact never cured anyone, who promoted cocaine as a miracle drug capable of curing a wide range of diseases, and who advanced his career through falsifying case histories and betraying the mentors who had helped him to rise. The legend has persisted, Crews shows, thanks to Freud’s fictive self-invention as a master detective of the psyche, and later through a campaign of censorship and falsification conducted by his followers.
Frederick Crews is an author who has published a variety of books and criticisms including The Pooh Complex, Follies of the Wise and his newest book Freud: The Making of an Illusion.
Originally aired in October 2017.