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Publisher's Summary

Bruno Bettelheim was one of the great child psychologists of the twentieth century and perhaps none of his books has been more influential than this revelatory study of fairy tales and their universal importance in understanding childhood development. Analyzing a wide range of traditional stories, from the tales of Sindbad to "The Three Little Pigs", "Hansel and Gretel", and "The Sleeping Beauty", Bettelheim shows how the fantastical, sometimes cruel, but always deeply significant narrative strands of the classic fairy tales can aid in our greatest human task, that of finding meaning for one's life.

©1976 Bruno Bettelheim (P)2017 Tantor

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Shows its age in the back end, but still valuable

Would you listen to The Uses of Enchantment again? Why?

Maybe, but only to the beginning chapters which outline his theory and method.

Any additional comments?

This book makes an eloquent case for parents to be aware of and to respect the differences between the mental life of children and adults, and provides a method for using fairy tales as a means of giving children a safe setting to explore their fantasies and fears.

Just be warned that it gets really, really hardcore Freudian toward the end, particularly in his analysis of Cinderella. Honestly just skip that chapter unless you want a long explanation of how everything in the story is a symbol for penises and vaginas.