Journalist Debbie Nathan reveals the true story behind the famous case of Sybil, the woman with sixteen different personalities.
©2011 Debbie Nathan (P)2011 Tantor
"Leveling a steady eye on her oft-sensationalized subject, Nathan serves up a tale just as shocking as the famed original," (Publishers Weekly)
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I didn’t care for the book that much; I didn’t feel like I was uncovering an extraordinary scoop. Sure some parts were interesting, but overall it was just ok.
In a nut shell, it’s the biography of “The Real Sybil”, her overzealous doctor, and the author of the 1973 book “Sybil”.
Essentially, the doctor’s highest interest was the advancement of her own career and saw in Sybil what she wanted to see. She and the writer had dollar signs in their eyes and really getting to the bottom of Sybil’s issues was secondary to making money and achieving fame through her story.
Was it all a hoax? We’ll never know. I am certain Sybil was not in her right mind, but I’m ready to believe elements of her case were exaggerated and sensationalized.
I had previously read the Sybil book, and loved it, then come to find out it was a hoax, made me so upset that I had to know why and if any of the book was true. Amazing what really happened and puts a different perspective on certain people. Good read though!!!!
Well, an interesting look into the world of multiple personalities, with the main character personality being, Sybil.
Was it real? Was it a hoax? Fascinating, that’s for sure!
The author, takes us back to over the last 100 years of treatment that was common in the United States at the time. The discussion is about various methods and treatments, medications, sexual deviance and multiple personalities.
This whole “cottage” industry sprung up and really took hold in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s at a time when women were “discovering themselves, but at the same time, were being misdiagnosed in many cases of multiple personality disorders.
Of course, many books, movies and plays became part of Western cultural folklore with all of this going on.
I've seen movies, read books about the subject in various forms and whatnot, but it’s good to see that this book was well written and exposed the whole Sybil case.
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