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The Creation of Dr. B: A Biography of Bruno Bettelheim (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – Januar 1997

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 478 Seiten
  • Verlag: Simon & Schuster; Auflage: First Printing (Januar 1997)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0684809389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684809380
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 4,4 x 16,5 x 25,4 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 5.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 580.966 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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While certainly a biography, Richard Pollak's book is much more than a simple account of the life of the renowned psychologist Bruno Bettelheim. Pollak's book is both more personal and more damning than would be possible for any other writer to draft. Pollak's younger brother Stephen was a patient of Bettelheim's and a student at the Orthogenic School in Chicago. At age nine, while playing hide-and-seek with his brother in an old dairy barn, Richard witnessed his six-year-old brother accidentally fall to his death. Pollak's parents attempted to deal with this tragedy by sweeping it under the rug, a solution that only delayed the author's desire to know more about his brother, his parents, and the full dimensions of this tragedy within his family life. A visit to Bettelheim to inquire into his brother's psychological records, led to a remarkable encounter in which Bettelheim inexplicably insisted that Stephen had committed suicide and laid the blame for his death with Pollak's mother, whom he described as a jealous and uncaring woman. This incredible experience led Pollak to begin to question what type of man Bettelheim truly was, and what basis he had for his diagnosis. What Pollak has uncovered is simply incredible. A twisted path of deception, self-invention, and plagiarism is disclosed in damning detail, stripping the famed author of The Uses of Enchantment of any justifiable claim to his esteemed reputation as a child psychologist, and throwing into doubt many of the basic details of the life the late Bettelheim had claimed to have lived. Pollak takes down Bettelheim, pins him to the mat, and pursues him to the end, in a fascinating work that stretches the boundaries of biography.

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BRUNO BETTELHEIM wrote that the tales of his ancestors passed on to him by his parents left a deep impression on him as a child "because they contained so many elements. . . of fairy tales." Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von R. W. Rasband am 4. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
On an episode of "The Simpsons," Bart is climbing on a psychiatrist's bookcase and knocking off some tomes. The psychiatrist says, "Stop that! Some of those books haven't been discredited yet!" "The Creation of Dr. B" is truly an astonishing book. To think that such a fraud could obtain such a prominent position in American life makes you wonder what other now-respected people out there are con-men and phonies. Pollak's book is a model of research and writing: those post-modern people who say we can never come to a definite knowledge of the truth should eat their words after reading this. "Dr. B" is one of those recent works that help show the insanity of the Freudian dominace of psychology in the mid 20th century. Can we now lump it with phrenology, as it deserves to be?
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2 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 11. Februar 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
As a former student at Bettelheim's Orthogenic School, I would like to commend Mr. Pollack for a well written and truthful account of Dr. B. He was NOT the "saint" as people would like to have him be. Mr. Pollack's description of Dr. B is totally accurate in every detail. We, the students, as Mr. Pollack did point out, were very intimidated by Dr. B and were often slapped and beaten by him. The Orthogenic School staff, never came to our aid, themselves, as well, being intimadated by this man. I am glad Mr. Pollak wrote this book and only wish others would also expose the fake Dr.B.
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33 von 40 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
At last, the truth, The real story of Dr. Bettelheim 11. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
As a former student at Bettelheim's Orthogenic School, I would like to commend Mr. Pollack for a well written and truthful account of Dr. B. He was NOT the "saint" as people would like to have him be. Mr. Pollack's description of Dr. B is totally accurate in every detail. We, the students, as Mr. Pollack did point out, were very intimidated by Dr. B and were often slapped and beaten by him. The Orthogenic School staff, never came to our aid, themselves, as well, being intimadated by this man. I am glad Mr. Pollak wrote this book and only wish others would also expose the fake Dr.B.
11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
How to Single-Handedly Set Back Autism Research for Decades 30. Juni 2012
Von Crochet Lover - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
I read The Creation of Dr. B several years ago... recently, while going through some storage boxes, I found my copy and had memories come back about what I read. I still have chills go down my spine when I remember reading about not only what an abusive monster and a fraud he was, but thinking about how much he must have set back progress in autism research, and all because he knew exactly who to deceive and how for his own gain.

I already knew Bettelheim's theory about refrigerator mothers was hooey when my oldest was diagnosed with autism during the mid-90s, well after Kanner and Rimland had busted Bettelheim's myths. I had heard of autism years before thanks to my mother's nursing background and experience, as well as a family friend who had a son on the spectrum. The impression I came away with was that autism was not a condition to be feared, it just was what it was, and certainly nobody was blamed for causing it.

So when my oldest got the diagnosis, I felt no false guilt or shame. I simply thought, okay, what's next, what do we do to help?

I was fortunate I came from a generation that didn't have to live with mothers being blamed and having their children taken away from them to place in an institution "for the child's good." That was the world Bruno Bettelheim created for countless parents, and he did so based on lies about his past, his credentials, and his curriculum vitae. The result was children who got institutionalized without cause and families ripped apart. Bettelheim was truly a destructive man in every sense of the word.

Bettelheim never had a psychology degree, it was in philosophy, specifically aesthetics. He wrote academic papers about artwork, not the human mind. His work required him to study psychology *a little bit*, but again, that was not his major. It made as much sense for him to consider himself an expert in psychology as it would for an engineering major with a minor in business law to hang out a shingle with the claim they can help someone facing a libel suit.

Bettelheim essentially built an empire for himself based on lies. He charmed the right people into giving him what he wanted - power and control through being a professor at the University of Chicago and eventually becoming the director of the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School. Many of his former patients have come forward since his death to give testimony that he abused them severely.

A good percentage of his patients have also stated in the years since they were under his "care" that his imposing a diagnosis of autism on them was, in fact, inaccurate, and they were never autistic. It almost seems if someone sneezed the wrong way by Bettelheim's standards, they had autism. One could infer based on his misdiagnosing so many that it reflected not only how little he really knew about autism, but fabricated what he did say he knew. That he reacted almost violently to Rimland and Kanner's research dispelling his claims about autism not being organic/biological in nature and blasting the refrigerator mother theory out of the water also lends to his lack of credibility.

I am no psychologist, not even close to being an expert. But from my own rudimentary poking around, my guess is if Bettelheim came upon the psychology scene these days, he'd be diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and laughed out the door with a permanent Kick Me sign on his back, never to be seen again.

It's a shame he took advantage of the fact that people were more trusting of someone's word as sole source of credibility 50 years ago. It meant he was given a level of authority he didn't deserve or earn, used it to abuse and intimidate innocent children, and set back what we know about autism by decades because he imposed so much authority, that up until the 1970s-1980s, nobody bothered or dared to question him, or if they did, they were quickly discredited and silenced.

Sadly, certain experts and cultures still try to purport the refrigerator mother theory. Various countries in Europe and Asia maintain that autism is the parents' fault. Child abuse expert Alice Miller publicly maintained up to her death that, in her opinion, autism is a result of poor parenting. All of this flies in the face of scientific research that continues to come out stating autism is a combination of factors that are biological and/or genetic in nature, not psychological.

This points to just how damaging Bruno Bettelheim's work has been to autism research and to those in the autism community. Many of us not only have autism, but have children on the spectrum. We can attest neither we nor our children are the result of bad parenting. Even when some of us truly do/did have bad parents, we still don't blame them for having autism, which is for all intents and purposes different brain wiring. No more, no less. To imply that parenting is at fault for who we are is nonsensical.

For that reason I think it's still very relevant to still recommend Pollak's biography in this day and age. The autism community needs to continue ensuring Bettelheim's name is only associated with that of a fool any time someone tries to state otherwise. Those who still believe the refrigerator mother theory may be more and more in the minority, but it's surprising to me in the 21st century that anyone believes it at all or thinks Bettelheim was a credentialed or believable expert in the field.
18 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Irrefutable and damning 5. Oktober 1997
Von Ein Kunde - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A book that obviously comes out of deep passion and painstaking scholarship, written with a cold and disciplined fury. The evidence Pollak uncovers is so shocking as to be practically grotesque. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so tragic. Bettelheim blighted the lives of a generation of autistic children (as well as their parents), as well as those of any other children who were unfortunate to fall into his care. Pollak's harshness is never less than scrupulously fair, and is clearly richly merited.
8 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Finally someone takes the clothes off this evil emperor 22. Oktober 2007
Von Fíal - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Pollak's book is a long-needed, well-written, thoroughly researched document that should be required reading for every psychology and psychiatry student.

Bruno Bettelheim did not blight just one generation of families of autistic people. He hurt, and continues to hurt, hundreds of thousands of people through his misbegotten, arrogantly upheld, cruel, baseless theories that were far more widely publicized than the current scientific research. His book The Empty Fortress (published in 1962 with all the Freudian nonsense) is still in print, which means that there are even today, 2007, many people out there who believe or even revere him.

Rare, indeed, is the family member of an autistic person who has not been assured by a confident Bettelheim reader that the child's mother caused his disease. Can you imagine the harm and heartbreak this causes? Even Bettelheim's own wife quarreled with him because he was so hard on mothers.

Personally I believe that Bettelheim killed himself in part because it was more and more difficult for him to uphold his theories, his life work, in the face of mounting scientific evidence that autism has physical causes.

The Bettelheim defenders have no facts to back them up. They fall back on "he was a brilliant man" or "follow-up studies would have gone against his method" or "he was a distinguished scholar." The facts are that Bettelheim's whole career as a "scholar" was based on lies and misrepresentations; that he hurt dozens of children directly and hundreds of thousands of families indirectly; and that Pollak's book is finally getting people to take a hard look at a very bad man.

The University of Chicago should publicly apologize that it supported him for so long.
19 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wake up and smell the child abuse 30. Juli 2004
Von Monica Shouts - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Pollak does a brilliant job of tearing away the deceptions and rationalizations that made Bettelheim's Orthogenic School seem like an outstanding, cutting edge School for emotionally troubled, mentally ill and autistic children.

The chapter on Bettelheim's brutality against the children really made me wonder how did the staff working with him rationalize his behavior for so many years? I guess some staff were intimidated by him. And some were awestruck by his prestige.

I think indirectly Pollak's book is an indictment against the University of Chicago for so carelessly supporting Bettelheim for so many years - 30 years. Pollak shows how Bettelheim was allowed to surround himself with whatever staff he pleased. And frequently, he chose impressionable, young people who had good reason to believe that Bettelheim's method's were rational since the U of C backed the school. I guess the U of C was so content with Bettelheim's national prestige and with the money he brought to the University that they weren't concerned about his cruel, sadistic side. And I'm sure that U of C officials must have known something about this side of Betttelheim, since he said outrageous things in public.

Also, I guess Pollak's book shows how easy it can be for the ordinary person to witness terrible acts of brutality against a vulnerable population (and troubled children, some as young as 4, living away from their parents for several years is probably one of the more vulnerable populations in the world) yet do and say nothing.

In the book, Bettelheim supporters seem to rationalize that because Bettelheim was so brilliant that he could somehow abuse children in an effective, therapeutic way. They decided that his role of the Big Bad Wolf would help sick children overcome the terror of their inner aggression. Now, unless you think mentally ill children are an alien species, what child is going to feel safer knowing that at any moment they might be beaten in the head, slapped repeatedly in the face or have their pants pulled down and be beaten on their behinds with a belt? What child is going to feel safer knowing that all this abuse would be dealt out entirely according to the discretion of one man. And that the staff would either ignore what he did or tell you to overlook the welts he created on your body and just listen to the wisdom of what he said to you. This type of thinking, which Pollak describes in his book, seems like a rationalization of the worst kind. It is extraordinarily simplistic to assume that Bettelheim can help children by beating and shaming them. And Pollak makes it clear that Bettelheim's cruelty towards the children was not an infrequent aberration, but an integral and consistant part of this therapeutic milieu. And, because he is dealing with children, often young children, they cannot stand up to his abuse. They need someone to depend on so much, that they can't resist his tyranny.

And the person Bettelheim picked to be his successor, Jacqui Sanders, never reported his abuse to any authority. And she continued his legacy of hitting children for many years after her directorship. She even wrote a book rationalizing her behavior that was published by the U of C press.

Many who worked at the Orthogenic School, including Jacqui, still rationalize their abusive behavior as superior to restraints or drugs. First of all, I think it's a horrid twist of logic to suggest that beating children is superior to these other methods. Also, at some point in her directorship Jacqui did stop hitting children...I think it's when she finally got licensed as a clinical psychologist. So I guess even she thought of other ways to contain a child who is acting chaotically, possibly when she actually studied the ideas of someone other than Bettelheim. Here's a suggestion for helping a child from me: try finding the child a compassionate therapist. Not a person who witnesses abuse of children and says nothing or a person who is trained to tell a child that getting beaten is okay. But a person who will listen to the child and who will try to help them understand their feelings and behavior.

The sad legacy of the Orthogenic School is that for many years it forced children to accept that getting beaten and shamed was an acceptable form of "care". I personally think that's sick. And I appreciate Pollak for exposing the sadistic underbelly of Bettelheim's School. Many of the students who went there are still alive. Some have families. And some appreciate having a bit of truth exposed to try and understand how the cruelty might have affected us.
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