Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

Breaking Down the Wall of Silence

Virago, revised edition 1997

Psychohistorical analyses of such brutal tyrants as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Nicolae Ceausescu show the obvious links between the horrors of their childhoods and the horror they inflicted on the world. Dr. Miller pleads for a course of remembrance and recognition on the part of the victim, and for awareness and condemnation of child abuse on the part of the society. She advocates getting access to and articulating long-denied emotions so that healing may take place. In her extensive new Preface for this edition, Alice Miller discusses the increasing attention being paid to childhood abuse since the book's original publication. She also reveals personal details about her own life that explain her special interest in childhood and emotional growth, the kind of growth that can encourage survivors to face the truth, to heal, thereby preventing future abuse from taking place.