Not the thing I was : thirteen years at Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School /

"They called him crazy. As a child, he probably was. At eight, the author left his family to spend thirteen years at the most famous school in the world for emotionally disturbed children. Not the Thing I Was describes life in Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School in Chicago. Among autistic...

Full description

Saved in:
Main Author: Eliot, Stephen. (Author)
Format: Book
Language:English
Published:New York : St. Martin's Press, c2003.
Edition:1st U.S. ed.
Subjects:
Related Information:Contributor biographical information 
Related Information: Publisher description 
Online Access: Table of contents 
Tags: Add Tag
No Tags, Be the first to tag this record!
Main Author:Eliot, Stephen.
Summary:"They called him crazy. As a child, he probably was. At eight, the author left his family to spend thirteen years at the most famous school in the world for emotionally disturbed children. Not the Thing I Was describes life in Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School in Chicago. Among autistics, schizophrenics - some truly whacked-out kids - and a dedicated staff, he lived in a world that didn't use drugs, had no locks on the doors, and had fine china and crystal on the dinner table. The staff believed that if you wanted to help a child, you had to understand how that child saw the world and perhaps persuade him or her that there might be other ways to interpret it that could lead to a more successful life. Bettelheim had been in the concentration camps and thought that if the Nazis could build an environment to destroy personality, he could create one to build it. He did, and in Not the Thing I Was, Eliot tells a fascinating coming-of-age story that is a cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Ciderhouse Rules. It is an intimate day-by-day look at a world directed by a charismatic and controversial Viennese psychoanalyst who battled his own demons as well as those of his children. Unique as the first and only work by one of Bettelheim's patients, Not the Thing I Was takes us on a survival trip, wherein Eliot emerges successfully from this private closed environment into the outside world - and acceptance as an undergraduate at Yale University."--BOOK JACKET.

He was called crazy. As a child, he probably was. Sent at age eight to Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School among autistics and schizophrenics, Eliot found himself in a world without drugs or locks on the doors. Instead, fine china was on the table. The staff believed to help a child, you had to understand how he saw the world and persuade him that there might be more successful ways to interpret it. Bettelheim had been in the concentration camps. He figured if the Nazis could build an environment to destroy personality, he could build one to create it. A fascinating coming of age story that's a cross betweenOne Flew Over the Cuckoo's NestandThe Ciderhouse Rules.L'Expresshailed the author for his "lucidity and devastating humor."Mariannewrites, "The child who thought of himself as merely a pulsing brain invites us on a voyage back from the frontier of insanity and we return transformed." A must read for parents, teachers, therapists and troubled adolescents themselves--so that all can see there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.

Language Notes:Translated from French.
General Notes:Translated into French and published in France under the title: La métamorphose, Bayard Press, 2002.
Physical Description:x, 288 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Bibliography:Includes bibliographical references (p. [273]-288).
ISBN:0312307497
9780312307493
Author Notes:

Stephen Eliot lives in New York City. He received a B.A. from Yale University and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. He works as an investment banker on Wall Street

Descriptive content provided by Syndetics™, a Bowker service.