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For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

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For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst. With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-d For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst. With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-destructive and/or violent individuals to expand on her theories about the long-term affects of abusive child-rearing. Her conclusions―on what sort of parenting can create a drug addict, or a murderer, or a Hitler―offer much insight, and make a good deal of sense, while also straying far from psychoanalytic dogma about human nature, which Miller vehemently rejects. This important study paints a shocking picture of the violent world―indeed, of the ever-more-violent world―that each generation helps to create when traditional upbringing, with its hidden cruelty, is perpetuated. The book also presents readers with useful solutions in this regard―namely, to resensitize the victimized child who has been trapped within the adult, and to unlock the emotional life that has been frozen in repression.


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For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst. With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-d For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst. With her typically lucid, strong, and poetic language, Miller investigates the personal stories and case histories of various self-destructive and/or violent individuals to expand on her theories about the long-term affects of abusive child-rearing. Her conclusions―on what sort of parenting can create a drug addict, or a murderer, or a Hitler―offer much insight, and make a good deal of sense, while also straying far from psychoanalytic dogma about human nature, which Miller vehemently rejects. This important study paints a shocking picture of the violent world―indeed, of the ever-more-violent world―that each generation helps to create when traditional upbringing, with its hidden cruelty, is perpetuated. The book also presents readers with useful solutions in this regard―namely, to resensitize the victimized child who has been trapped within the adult, and to unlock the emotional life that has been frozen in repression.

30 review for For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

  1. 4 out of 5

    Larry Strattner

    My mother used to say,"We are all victims of victims." If you reflect on this continuum, as Alice Miller does, you realize that many of her case study examples are as immediate today as they ever were since violence is a trait passed down through experience and it is so unerringly inserted deep in the mind of an abused child that it remains almost invisible until an opportunity presents itself for it to blossom horribly within its unwitting host. Ms. Miller's logic and her view of the roots of vi My mother used to say,"We are all victims of victims." If you reflect on this continuum, as Alice Miller does, you realize that many of her case study examples are as immediate today as they ever were since violence is a trait passed down through experience and it is so unerringly inserted deep in the mind of an abused child that it remains almost invisible until an opportunity presents itself for it to blossom horribly within its unwitting host. Ms. Miller's logic and her view of the roots of violence are clear and well drawn. She notes with particular clarity one of the great enablers of this disease, silence, from society, witnesses and the abused themselves, which allow the sickness to incubate and spread. A potential reader should not make the mistake of supposing Ms. Miller's analyses of causes and effects are somehow dated since the text is now more than thirty years old. In reality we consistently see examples that could well be Miller's in current news reports. This book is clear and easy reading. Ms. Miller is concise in her recounting of both her facts and her analyses. And yet the book is not easy to read. It is disturbing, depressing and at times sickening. It is a cautionary tale for anyone seeking paths to a better world, a management tool, as it were, for one of our most precious resources, our children.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Aimee J Martin

    This is an older book written in 1980 that I came across sitting on the floor of a dusty, old used book store. I snagged it for $3 and it was $3 well spent. This book focuses on the origins of violence and hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. Amazingly, this book was written in 1980 and expresses that 'everyone should read this book who is troubled by what is happening to our world and to our children..' Wow.. I would love to hear what Alice Miller has to say now in 2010. This is an older book written in 1980 that I came across sitting on the floor of a dusty, old used book store. I snagged it for $3 and it was $3 well spent. This book focuses on the origins of violence and hidden cruelty in child-rearing and the roots of violence. Amazingly, this book was written in 1980 and expresses that 'everyone should read this book who is troubled by what is happening to our world and to our children..' Wow.. I would love to hear what Alice Miller has to say now in 2010.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Dreamer

    I read this for a class on ancestry. My teacher recommended it because I have German ancestry, and this book was one of the most illuminating I've read in a long time. It helped me understand my upbringing in the light of German culture, and the culture my great-grandparents, grandparents, and even ancestors earlier, were raised in. I highly recommend this book for anyone with German, or even Scandanavian or European roots. I read this for a class on ancestry. My teacher recommended it because I have German ancestry, and this book was one of the most illuminating I've read in a long time. It helped me understand my upbringing in the light of German culture, and the culture my great-grandparents, grandparents, and even ancestors earlier, were raised in. I highly recommend this book for anyone with German, or even Scandanavian or European roots.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Lozano

    Alice Miller seems to be a bit of a polarizing figure, which isn't too surprising, since she manages to basically upend the entire history of pedagogy in her work. This is the first of her books I've read, but I was so fascinated that I decided to dig a bit deeper, and discovered that likely one reason her books are challenging to find (in English, at least), is probably because of her complicated relationship with her son, Martin Miller, who is also a psychotherapist. Much of Martin's life seem Alice Miller seems to be a bit of a polarizing figure, which isn't too surprising, since she manages to basically upend the entire history of pedagogy in her work. This is the first of her books I've read, but I was so fascinated that I decided to dig a bit deeper, and discovered that likely one reason her books are challenging to find (in English, at least), is probably because of her complicated relationship with her son, Martin Miller, who is also a psychotherapist. Much of Martin's life seems to have been destroyed by his mother's inability to practice what she preaches in her books. Martin was abused by his father when he was young, and argues that his mother turned a blind eye. Personally, I don't find it terribly surprising (though it is, of course, disappointing). Ms. Miller was a holocaust survivor who dedicated her life to her work, and seems to have largely neglected her only child. Some readers may be surprised - or even incredulous - at the idea that someone who wrote so passionately about listening to children could have neglected her own so terribly. Alas, this is often the case, and as Martin so brilliantly puts it, he was both destroyed by his mothers work, and saved by it (there's an excellent 2014 article entitled "The Trauma of a Gifted Child Whose Mother Was Alice Miller"in Haaretz that I highly recommend). In the article, Martin writes "On the one hand, I suffered a great deal from my mother, but on the other hand, she provided me with the information about how to survive in that relationship, and that is wonderful. That is the tension that existed in our relations." I agree with Miller that nearly all children are victims of violence in one form or another, and that the scars it leaves are long lasting. In truth, I was somewhat surprised she chose to have a child at all, given that her book seems to make the cycle of violence and narcissistic projection of one's own feelings onto helpless children seem almost unavoidable. Her own son knows this all too well. Miller's failures as a parent do not discredit the value of her work - if anything, they demonstrate the deep complexity of human relations and the great tragedy of family violence and childhood neglect. *NB!: The book contains descriptions of violent scenes, often of a sexual nature. I was personally triggered more by this book than any I have ever read, and I would caution anyone who is either overly empathetic or who has experienced childhood abuse to tread with caution!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth George

    Alice Miller is a German psychologist whose works have been translated into English. This book explores the nature of child-rearing over time and what child-rearing produces in the victims of what she refers to as "poisonous pedagogy." It's not a book in which anyone is blamed but rather a book in which she explores the way in which child-rearing can ultimately lead to violence in adulthood. As such, it's completely fascinating. It opens your eyes to the negative impact some parents have on thei Alice Miller is a German psychologist whose works have been translated into English. This book explores the nature of child-rearing over time and what child-rearing produces in the victims of what she refers to as "poisonous pedagogy." It's not a book in which anyone is blamed but rather a book in which she explores the way in which child-rearing can ultimately lead to violence in adulthood. As such, it's completely fascinating. It opens your eyes to the negative impact some parents have on their children, even when they are completely well-meaning. It's an eye-opener into the behavior of Stalin and Hitler and it's also a cautionary tale about people like Donald Trump who come to power without ever resolving anything in their past that haunts them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    On recommendation from my therapist. Luckily for me, this copy was heavily marked up so it was easy to skip around to the juicy bits. Quote: "A child conditioned to be well-behaved must not notice what she is feeling, but asks herself what she ought to feel." On recommendation from my therapist. Luckily for me, this copy was heavily marked up so it was easy to skip around to the juicy bits. Quote: "A child conditioned to be well-behaved must not notice what she is feeling, but asks herself what she ought to feel."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rita

    After having it on my shelf for years, I finally read this book, truly amazing. Psychoanalyst Alice Miller explains clearly [even in translation:] what it does to a person's psyche to have been routinely punished by a caregiver for any reason and for no reason. This is her explanation for Hitler and those who collaborated with him and it is convincing. She quotes extensively from 19c [German:] child-rearing manuals warning the parent to establish his/her dominance over the child in the very firs After having it on my shelf for years, I finally read this book, truly amazing. Psychoanalyst Alice Miller explains clearly [even in translation:] what it does to a person's psyche to have been routinely punished by a caregiver for any reason and for no reason. This is her explanation for Hitler and those who collaborated with him and it is convincing. She quotes extensively from 19c [German:] child-rearing manuals warning the parent to establish his/her dominance over the child in the very first year, the goal being the child's complete and blind obedience. Someone raised in this way will usually act accordingly their whole life and raise their own children the same way. Absolutely frightening. ==================== After telling Gail and Steve about this book, I wrote to them: I realized later that I had not accurately represented psychoanalyst Alice Miller's argument in explaining how Hitler and those who collaborated with him could possibly have done what they did. I suggested it was adhering too strictly to rules, but that is not correct. Alice Miller quotes extensively from 19c [German] child-rearing manuals warning the parent to establish his/her dominance over the child in the very first year, the goal being the child's complete and blind obedience. Someone raised in this way will usually act accordingly their whole life and raise their own children the same way, she argues. It was not too many rules, but rather that the child was beaten time after time by an enraged parent for any reason or for no reason. Nothing the child could do, or refrain from doing, made any difference. The parent would still unpredictably become enraged and the child learned to expect merciless punishment and humiliation. Shockingly, the child-rearing manuals literally advocate humiliating the young child, among other measures meant to mold the child into a person who never questions authority but always obeys blindly. Absolutely frightening. [Her best known title is: The Drama of the Gifted Child: The Search for the True Self by Alice Miller. My guess is that 'drama' in the title is a mistranslation for 'tragedy'... ] ============== I liked two of the readers' comments that I found on my Goodreads site: ''I read this for a class on ancestry. My teacher recommended it because I have German ancestry, and this book was one of the most illuminating I've read in a long time. It helped me understand my upbringing in the light of German culture, and the culture my great-grandparents, grandparents, and even ancestors earlier, were raised in. I highly recommend this book for anyone with German, or even Scandinavian or European roots. '' ''I read this book when I was a new mother with my first baby. It helped me become aware of and process the hurts I had experienced as a child at the hands of well-meaning parents and teachers. In turn this helped me become aware of my own tendencies to repeat these patterns, and made it easier to be more kind, loving and patient as a mother. '' =========== Gail replies: Thanks for your qualification. I have read many articles that say that speak to the severe punishment for little or no reason as only feeding the parent's ego and establishing the parent's dominance. This succeeds in destroying the child's self-worth and perpetrating the same behavior on the next generation. Cruelty and abuse certainly are not the answer.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sue Lyle

    In my opinion the best of Alice Miller's writing, it provides a well researched analysis of child rearing manuals over the centuries and their impact on our attitudes and behaviour towards children. It shows us that values change and that we can change if we want to. I would make this compulsory reading for all would-be teachers. In my opinion the best of Alice Miller's writing, it provides a well researched analysis of child rearing manuals over the centuries and their impact on our attitudes and behaviour towards children. It shows us that values change and that we can change if we want to. I would make this compulsory reading for all would-be teachers.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Those that most need to read it...won't Those that most need to read it...won't

  10. 5 out of 5

    Pierian

    Although this book was written in the historical context of an older generation of parents and children, Miller intuits important psychological insights that are supported by current research. The writing and choice of case studies sometimes seems overwrought, and a large section is devoted to Adolf Hitler's childhood and the impact of Nazism (which came as a surprise to me), yet many of Miller's insights can be applied to a more general population. A worthwhile read for those interested in psyc Although this book was written in the historical context of an older generation of parents and children, Miller intuits important psychological insights that are supported by current research. The writing and choice of case studies sometimes seems overwrought, and a large section is devoted to Adolf Hitler's childhood and the impact of Nazism (which came as a surprise to me), yet many of Miller's insights can be applied to a more general population. A worthwhile read for those interested in psychology or child development.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bethtub

    This is 'must read' material for anyone looking to quell oppressive dynamics. It changed my life and capacity to see various oppressions stemming from personal experiences, as well as how they model each other (i.e. how men relate to women, adults to children, white people to people of color, so on) This is 'must read' material for anyone looking to quell oppressive dynamics. It changed my life and capacity to see various oppressions stemming from personal experiences, as well as how they model each other (i.e. how men relate to women, adults to children, white people to people of color, so on)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ietrio

    Finally someone breaking up with the old, with the same old fairy tales based on belief and employing logic when empirical observation is plagued by confirmation bias.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gea

    So far the entire first third of the book is excerpts from writings about 'parenting' from Germany around 1770-1800. Shows how horrible parents were supposed to raise their kids. I am having a hard time getting through reading all of it - not only because it is sickening - but because Miller hasn't begun writing herself or getting to the point yet. The second half should get better and to the point (I would expect!), but I am not there yet. After skipping some of the graphic part in the beginning So far the entire first third of the book is excerpts from writings about 'parenting' from Germany around 1770-1800. Shows how horrible parents were supposed to raise their kids. I am having a hard time getting through reading all of it - not only because it is sickening - but because Miller hasn't begun writing herself or getting to the point yet. The second half should get better and to the point (I would expect!), but I am not there yet. After skipping some of the graphic part in the beginning, it is getting a lot better. - I can see the importance of showing the 'advice' and expectations of raising a 'good' child - - - it really makes you realize how horrible parents were supposed to raise their kids. After this harsh beginning Miller is talking more (and it is interesting) - and she is pulling up a lot of research on Nazi Germany and how the Nazi's were raised. She is getting to the point, it seems, that when parents repress the emotions of their children and when parents do not let children express themselves, the consequences (to varying degrees, obviously) can be very, very bad.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Rhonda Rae Baker

    This should be required reading for everyone...I am overwhelmed with how much truth is spoken on these pages! I've been around long enough to realize and to witness that so much of what is said here is how circumstances unfold for many lives. Oh that we, as a society, will wake up and look around us. This type of abuse is everywhere and we much look into our past and that of our parents to see what pattern have been unconsciously repeated. This could save your life and that of your children...but m This should be required reading for everyone...I am overwhelmed with how much truth is spoken on these pages! I've been around long enough to realize and to witness that so much of what is said here is how circumstances unfold for many lives. Oh that we, as a society, will wake up and look around us. This type of abuse is everywhere and we much look into our past and that of our parents to see what pattern have been unconsciously repeated. This could save your life and that of your children...but most importantly of the world ahead...our grandchildren and their children. Please read this and open your heart to understand with empathy what is REALLY going on! WOW...I am on a mission to read everything that Alice Miller has written...pouring over her website is invaluable as well...(-:

  15. 4 out of 5

    Thom

    Good book to stir up suppressed issues, however it is at high risk for facilitating inaccurate memories.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Yodar

    This was the book that started my journey to adulthood. I healed tremendously while reading and pondering this book's message. This was the book that started my journey to adulthood. I healed tremendously while reading and pondering this book's message.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    I love Alice Miller's books. Her psychoanalytic perspective along with her anecdotal analysis of famous historical people makes for great reading. I love Alice Miller's books. Her psychoanalytic perspective along with her anecdotal analysis of famous historical people makes for great reading.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mischa Daanen

    Pedagogy fills the needs of parents, not of children. Ohh and don’t punish or hit your children or they’ll become either addicts or fascists.

  19. 5 out of 5

    my_bookstories

    «For your own good» Alice Miller Alice Miller is one of my favourite authors. I have read 4 of her books and they are all perfect. She was a psychoanalyst for 20 years and after that she decided to share her knowledge by publishing 13 books. The main subject of the books is our childhood and how the way our parents raised us affected us throughout our lives. This specific book deals with our education and the “poisonous pedagogy” with references to the childhood of infamous people like Adolfo Hit «For your own good» Alice Miller Alice Miller is one of my favourite authors. I have read 4 of her books and they are all perfect. She was a psychoanalyst for 20 years and after that she decided to share her knowledge by publishing 13 books. The main subject of the books is our childhood and how the way our parents raised us affected us throughout our lives. This specific book deals with our education and the “poisonous pedagogy” with references to the childhood of infamous people like Adolfo Hitler, Jürgen Bartsch and others. Children tend to copy their parents behaviour and thus perpetuate the problems.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abby Elizabeth

    I really wanted to give this five stars, because I think this is a very important book. However, I found it to be a bit too dry and academic at times--and I find the subject deeply fascinating, so I would imagine if I had trouble getting through it at times, it could be quite off-putting to someone with less inherent interest. Perhaps it's a side effect of the translation. That said, this IS a very important book, one that could have the power to revolutionize the entire world if people were actu I really wanted to give this five stars, because I think this is a very important book. However, I found it to be a bit too dry and academic at times--and I find the subject deeply fascinating, so I would imagine if I had trouble getting through it at times, it could be quite off-putting to someone with less inherent interest. Perhaps it's a side effect of the translation. That said, this IS a very important book, one that could have the power to revolutionize the entire world if people were actually able to absorb its lessons. Miller lays out a very compelling argument that the roots of all violent, criminal, and anti-social behavior actually lies in the suffering experienced in childhood, and the compulsion to repeat such suffering in adulthood. She utilizes several case studies to do this, most notably that of Adolf Hitler. While some might feel this to be an overly simplified excuse to blame parents for everything, it is far from that, as she fully acknowledges the fact that parents are themselves enacting their own childhood trauma on their children. It is an altogether too human tragedy, one that can be prevented only by awareness of it and taking action to break the cycle. While one might think that the age of the book would make it outdated, it is far from that--in 2018, seeing a resurgence of white nationalist and fascist tendencies around the world, her ideas are more important and more relevant than ever. Just out of curiosity, I did some cursory research on Donald Trump's childhood after reading this book, and it took me only a few minutes to discover people referring to Trump's father as "harsh," "stern," etc. and writing of the way he rejected his son by sending him away to military school at 13, where students were subjected to harsh corporal punishment and the culture was one of bullying. I expect, were you to truly take the time to investigate, you could write a case study on his childhood very similar to that which Alice Miller has done in this book. Miller's writing could change the way we all look at violence, criminality, parents, and children if we let it. It's a shame her ideas aren't more well-known, although perhaps not surprising--few things are exonerated in modern society more than parenthood.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    "The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our life." I've been on a quest for awhile, searching for good parenting books, reading about child abuse and it's later effects, and most recently I came across this book by Alice Miller. For Your Own Good is an interesting book. Miller's expertise in the area is obvious throughout the book, and I will be looking for more books by her.  I liked that Miller talked about the parenting techniques of the past and how "The way we were treated as small children is the way we treat ourselves the rest of our life." I've been on a quest for awhile, searching for good parenting books, reading about child abuse and it's later effects, and most recently I came across this book by Alice Miller. For Your Own Good is an interesting book. Miller's expertise in the area is obvious throughout the book, and I will be looking for more books by her.  I liked that Miller talked about the parenting techniques of the past and how they perpetuated and even glorified abuse.  She picks apart the idea that child are inherently selfish. I particularly liked this quote: "To reach their sacred ends, they try to mold the child in their image, suppressing self-expression in the child and at the same time missing out on an opportunity to learn something." While I learned a lot from this book, I did feel like the author had a tendency to be a little long-winded. I did not read all of this book, but rather skipped around to pages and chapters that I thought would be useful. I found the long analysis of Hilter's childhood to be just a little too long.  I will also say that this book should come with a trigger warning. This book deals heavily with child abuse and some of it turned my stomach. It was really hard to read.  Still I'm glad I had a chance to read For Your Own Good, Alice Miller is an author I will read more of and I gave the book 3 stars on Goodreads. 

  22. 5 out of 5

    Efthimios Nasiopoulos

    I loved this book. Alice Miller continues where she left off in Drama of a Gifted Child. This book has given me more empathy for the wounded child in adult men and women. The idea of raising a child with respect and boundaries and giving them to safety and freedom to express all of the feelings within them is a great start to giving them a head start in a life where one requires access to their whole self to truly live a fulfilled life. If we grow, repressed from certain emotions and grow up wit I loved this book. Alice Miller continues where she left off in Drama of a Gifted Child. This book has given me more empathy for the wounded child in adult men and women. The idea of raising a child with respect and boundaries and giving them to safety and freedom to express all of the feelings within them is a great start to giving them a head start in a life where one requires access to their whole self to truly live a fulfilled life. If we grow, repressed from certain emotions and grow up without parents who loved us, respected us or were there for us, then there are no limits to how far our lives can unravel, through any combination of vice, to fill those unmet needs as children. This doesn’t rule out addiction, various types dependencies on toxic partners or levels of violence. A great read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bob Galinsky

    This book explains Donald Trump, who had an abusive father, and why so many people follow him and other abusive leaders. The key insight is that some people believe their parents that abuse is "for their own good", and they associate abuse with love, because to admit that their parents don't love them would be devastating. This book explains Donald Trump, who had an abusive father, and why so many people follow him and other abusive leaders. The key insight is that some people believe their parents that abuse is "for their own good", and they associate abuse with love, because to admit that their parents don't love them would be devastating.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    I read passages of this several years ago... can't quite remember why, although I do remember it hanging around my bedroom with a bookmark in it for a long time - and that I found the parts I did read... well, maybe not enjoyable, but certainly illuminating. I read passages of this several years ago... can't quite remember why, although I do remember it hanging around my bedroom with a bookmark in it for a long time - and that I found the parts I did read... well, maybe not enjoyable, but certainly illuminating.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vertigo

    This book should be required reading for everyone.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    All I Need To Know I learned In Kindergarten (And How To Undo It).

  27. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    So far this is an amazing book with great helpful incite about what I am working on and dealing with in my life. Thank you Anne for your recommendation

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    One of my child rearing bibles. I am opposed to spanking, I don't just choose not to do it myself. I am apalled by the entire concept, and this book explains why better than I can. One of my child rearing bibles. I am opposed to spanking, I don't just choose not to do it myself. I am apalled by the entire concept, and this book explains why better than I can.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kenneth

    Mind blowing -- amazing insight into trauma

  30. 4 out of 5

    Em

    Fascinating bool. I appreciated the links between authoritarian parenting and succumbing to fascism, which is currently particularly relevant to countries flirting with fascism, like the US. Unsurprisingly, fascism has less hold over people who are not taught to suppress their own desires and succumb to authority, regardless of its irrationality or demands; those who were allowed to express themselves and their emotions are much more able to see fascism for the hollow nonsense that it is. The boo Fascinating bool. I appreciated the links between authoritarian parenting and succumbing to fascism, which is currently particularly relevant to countries flirting with fascism, like the US. Unsurprisingly, fascism has less hold over people who are not taught to suppress their own desires and succumb to authority, regardless of its irrationality or demands; those who were allowed to express themselves and their emotions are much more able to see fascism for the hollow nonsense that it is. The book also analyses the childhoods of Adolf Hitler, a woman named Christiane F. who turned to drug use at a young age, and serial killer Jürgen Bartsch, to explain the links between their childhoods and their actions in later life.

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