Who said: "Men are more moral than they think..."

BookBrowse's Favorite Quotes

"Men are more moral than they think and far more immoral than they can imagine." - Sigmund Freud

Sigmund FreudSigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, was born in Freiburg, Moravia (then part of the Austrian Empire, now part of the Czech Republic) in 1856 of Jewish parentage. He studied medicine at Vienna, then specialized in neurology, and later in psychopathology.   In 1886 he went into private practice specializing in nervous and brain disorders, and started to experiment with hypnotism with his most hysterical patients, but gave this up in favor of simply getting his patients to lie on a couch and say whatever came into their minds (which he termed "free association").

He became convinced that infantile sexuality was a fact - a theory that isolated him from the medical profession of the day, but over time his theories became more accepted and in 1902 he was appointed to a professorship in Vienna where he developed a loyal following including Adler and Jung;  he later formed the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society (1908) and the International Psychoanalytic Association (1910).  By 1930 he had won some acceptance for his theories, and was awarded the Goethe Prize (a prestigious German literary award that had been introduced a few years earlier - which still exists today but is now a triennial, not annual, award) in recognition of his contributions to psychology. 

In 1933, the Nazis seized power in Germany and Freud's books were publicly burnt when Hitler banned psychoanalysis.  Following the Nazi invasion of Austria, Freud and his family escaped to England, where they settled in Hampstead, North London (their house is now a museum).

A heavy cigar smoker (an entire box daily), he contracted cancer of the mouth at the age of 67 and underwent more than 30 operations including having his jaw removed, which required him to wear a painful prosthesis to seal his mouth from his nasal cavity.  Unable to tolerate the pain any longer he died in 1939 of a physician-assisted morphine overdose.  He was 83.

His family stayed in England - his eldest daughter, Anna, became a distinguished psychologist, his grandson, Lucian (who died in 2011) was a well-known painter. Another grandson was the politician and writer, Clement Freud (who died in 2009). His great-grandchildren include the journalist Emma Freud, and Matthew Freud - who runs an influential PR company.

More Quotes

This quote & biography originally ran in an issue of BookBrowse's membership magazine. Full Membership Features & Benefits.

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Forest Dark
    Forest Dark
    by Nicole Krauss
    In Forest Dark, Nicole Krauss presents parallel stories of two people who leave New York to stay in ...
  • Book Jacket: The Amber Shadows
    The Amber Shadows
    by Lucy Ribchester
    The Amber Shadows sweeps readers into the realm of World War II-era Britain where Honor "Honey" ...
  • Book Jacket: Midwinter Break
    Midwinter Break
    by Bernard MacLaverty
    Northern Ireland's Bernard MacLaverty is the author of five novels and multiple short story ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.