The Memory WarsFreud's Legacy in Dispute
This volume collects Frederick Crews's two controversial essays on Freud from The New York Review of Books, "The Unknown Freud" and "The Revenge of the Repressed," as well as some of the critical letters provoked by their original publication in 1993 and 1994. In these essays, Crews elaborates upon his belief that "the relatively patent and vulgar pseudoscience of recovered memory rests in appreciable measure on the respectable and entrenched pseudoscience of psychoanalysis." Recovered memory therapy, according to his thesis, is a grossly negative practice that, in turn, has its origins in Freudian assumptions about psychoanalysis—assumptions that Crews charges were based on fraudulent data and intellectual bullying. As the reader responses indicate, these ideas were like a grenade tossed into the center of psychoanalytic culture, made all the more powerful by Crews's lively prose.