Bet­ter analysis needed

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English pro­fes­sor Fred­er­ick Crews has made a ca­reer of his war on Sig­mund Freud, and one might think The Post’s re­viewer of Crews’s book, “Freud: The Mak­ing of an Il­lu­sion,” would have been a lit­tle sus­pi­cious of a bi­og­ra­phy that is an ex­er­cise in an­i­mus, in­vec­tive and mar­ket­ing [“Fak­ing sci­ence to feed his own ego,” Book World, Sept. 3].

Freud was no saint or hero — as even sci­ence writer Matthew Hut­son could tell from tak­ing an “in­for­mal poll” on Face­book. Yet Freud con­tin­ues to haunt pop­u­lar cul­ture. As cu­ra­tor of the 1998 Li­brary of Congress ex­hi­bi­tion “Sig­mund Freud: Con­flict & Cul­ture,” I saw both the com­pul­sive, mind­less crit­i­cism and blind al­le­giance that the founder of psy­cho­anal­y­sis gen­er­ates. Crews and Hut­son might have con­sid­ered this fas­ci­nat­ing dy­namic had they not been so hap­pily dis­tracted by mo­men­tous ques­tions of ex­tra­mar­i­tal sex and the use of co­caine.

Michael S. Roth, Mid­dle­town, Conn.


Sig­mund Freud

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