Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child

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9780374276461: Thou Shalt Not Be Aware: Society's Betrayal of the Child

This groundbreaking classic of child-rearing, originally published in 1984, exploded Freud's notions of "infantile sexuality" and helped bring to the world's attention the brutal reality of child abuse.

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Miller parts company with Freud on the origins of children's fantasies in this progressive study of repressed memory. Forget the Oedipus complex. Miller reasons that when children suffer abuse, their feelings of pain and rage have nowhere to go in a society that esteems parental power over them as a natural right. Children have no choice but to internalize the anguish, creating a wellspring of fantasy material. This book offers a fresh take on how the unconscious retains memories of childhood and, without appropriate intervention, generates emotional ills and destructive behavior.

From the Back Cover:

"A provactive critique of traditional therapy's view of childhood . . . This is explosive stuff. I can't imagine anyone coming away from this book without several newfound discoveries about herself and her relation to her parents."--Nancy Evans, Glamour

Originally published in 1984, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware explodes Freud's notions of "infantile sexuality" and helps to bring to the world's attention the brutal reality of child abuse, changing forever our thoughts of "traditional" methods of child-rearing. Dr. Miller exposes the harsh truths behind children's "fantasies" by examining case histories, works of literature, dreams, and the lives of such people as Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Gustave Flaubert, and Samuel Beckett. Now with a new preface by Lloyd de Mause and a new introduction by the author, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware continues to bring an essential understanding to the confrontation and treatment of the devastating effects of child abuse.

"Thou Shalt Not Be Aware is that rarest of gems, a highly creative and exciting work which throws a multifaceted light upon the development of human nature in the Western World."--Ashley Montagu

"Alice Miller is not out to 'hang the bastards,' but rather to help create a world of self-conscious and self-loving individuals who don't need, want or know how to abuse others."--Sheila Koren, San Francisco Chronicle

"It is timely. It is powerful. It is painful . . . absorbing, enlightening and provoking."--Louise Lione, Charlotte Observer

Alice Miller, Ph.D., practiced and taught psychoanalysis for over twenty years before devoting herself to writing in 1979. She is the author of the bestselling Prisoners of Childhood (reissued in paperback as The Drama of the Gifted Child) and For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, as well as numerous other books.

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