Not the Thing I Was by Stephen Eliot
Thirteen Years at Bruno Bettelheim's Orthogenic School

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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 between One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and The Ciderhouse Rules. L'Express hailed the author for his "lucidity and devastating humor." Marianne writes, "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.

About Stephen Eliot

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Stephen Eliot lives in New York City. He received a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Columbia University. He works as an investment banker on Wall Street, where he advises corporations and investment funds on strategy, investments, and acquisitions.
Published March 19, 2003 by St. Martin's Press. 304 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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However, he is eloquent in describing the Orthogenic School’s routines and in weaving his progress through them, from the battling child who established a relationship with another person for the first time, to the golden middle years when he started to catch glimpses of his behavior in a context...

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Publishers Weekly

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Eliot's striking memoir chronicles a childhood and adolescence spent within the luxurious confines of the University of Chicago Sonia Shankman Orthogenic school, then run by émigré psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim.

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