Thou Shalt Not Be Aware Society's Betrayal of the Child

Alice Miller; Preface by Lloyd deMause; Translated from the German by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum

Farrar, Straus and Giroux



Trade Paperback

336 Pages



Request Desk Copy Request Exam Copy

Originally published in 1984, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware explodes Freud's notions of "infantile sexuality" and helps to bring to the world's attention the brutal reality of child abuse, changing forever our thoughts of "traditional" methods of child-rearing. Dr. Miller exposes the harsh truths behind children's "fantasies" by examining case histories, works of literature, dreams, and the lives of such people as Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Gustave Flaubert, and Samuel Beckett. Now with a new preface by Lloyd de Mause and a new introduction by the author, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware continues to bring an essential understanding to the confrontation and treatment of the devastating effects of child abuse.


Praise for Thou Shalt Not Be Aware

"Alice Miller is not out to 'hang the bastards,' but rather to help create a world of self-conscious and self-loving individuals who don't need, want or know how to abuse others."—Sheila Koren, San Francisco Chronicle

"It is timely. It is powerful. It is painful . . . absorbing, enlightening and provoking."—Louise Lione, Charlotte Observer

"A provactive critique of traditional therapy's view of childhood . . . This is explosive stuff. I can't imagine anyone coming away from this book without several newfound discoveries about herself and her relation to her parents."—Nancy Evans, Glamour

"Thou Shalt Not Be Aware is that rarest of gems, a highly creative and exciting work which throws a multifaceted light upon the development of human nature in the Western World."—Ashley Montagu

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Thou Shalt Not Be Aware

Psychoanalysis: Dogma vs. Experience

Will Frangoise ever be told that she nearly died? Perhaps she will learn that she was rescued by her wonderful father ... . She will not be told...

Read the full excerpt


  • Alice Miller; Preface by Lloyd deMause; Translated from the German by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum

  • Alice Miller, Ph.D., practiced and taught psychoanalysis for over twenty years before devoting herself to writing in 1979. She is the author of the bestselling Prisoners of Childhood (reissued in paperback as The Drama of the Gifted Child) and For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, as well as numerous other books.