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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

Newsweek: Freud in Our Midst

On his 150th birthday, the architect of therapeutic culture is an inescapable force. Why Freud—modern history's most debunked doctor—captivates us even now.

By Jerry Adler March 27, 2006

We stand now at a critical moment in the history of our civilization, which is usually the case: beset by enemies who irrationally embrace their own destruction along with ours, our fate in the hands of leaders who make a virtue of avoiding reflection, our culture hijacked by charlatans who aren't nearly as depraved as they pretend in their best-selling memoirs. As we turn from the author sniveling on Oprah's couch, our gaze is caught by a familiar figure in the shadows, sardonic and grave, his brow furrowed in weariness. So, he seems to be saying, you would like this to be easy. You want to stick your head in a machine, to swallow a pill, to confess on television and be cured before the last commercial. But you don't even know what your disease is.

Yes, it's Sigmund Freud, still haunting us, a lifetime after he died in London in 1939, driven by the Nazis from his beloved Vienna.

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