Bruno Bettelheim: The Other Side of Madness

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9780715628508: Bruno Bettelheim: The Other Side of Madness

A biography of Bruno Bettelheim, one of the 20th century's leading and most controversial psychoanalysts. It examines the questions that remain about Bettelheim. Who was he? The brilliant discoverer of a unique method of treating psychotic children, justly acclaimed the world over? Or a brutal and despotic bully who was rightly denounced by former students and patients? The author spent four years tracing Bettelheim's footsteps from Vienna to Los Angeles, via Chicago, Basel and Jerusalem, in an attempt to understand him. She interviewed students and colleagues, friends and enemies, and uncovered rare documents, including his letters from Buchenwald and Dachau. This book shows how Bettelheim discovered his life force as a concentration camp inmate and then attempted to use his own aggression as a lighting rod for the anger and violence within the children in his care. It uncovers the series of paradoxes that characterize the life and personality of this man.

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