My Lie: A True Story of False Memory

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John Wiley & Sons, Nov 5, 2010 - Social Science - 272 pages
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Meredith Maran lived a daughter's nightmare: she accused her father of sexual abuse, then realized, nearly too late, that he was innocent.

During the 1980s and 1990s, tens of thousands of Americans became convinced that they had repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse, and then, decades later, recovered those memories in therapy.

Journalist, mother, and daughter Meredith Maran was one of them. Her accusation and estrangement from her father caused her sons to grow up without their only grandfather, divided her family into those who believed her and those who didn't, and led her to isolate herself on "Planet Incest," where "survivors" devoted their lives, and life savings, to recovering memories of events that had never occurred.

Maran unveils her family's devastation and ultimate redemption against the backdrop of the sex-abuse scandals, beginning with the infamous McMartin preschool trial, that sent hundreds of innocents to jail—several of whom remain imprisoned today.

Exploring the psychological, cultural, and neuroscientific causes of this modern American witch-hunt, My Lie asks: how could so many people come to believe the same lie at the same time? What has neuroscience discovered about the brain's capacity to create false memories and encode false beliefs? What are the "big lies" gaining traction in American culture today—and how can we keep them from taking hold?

My Lie is a wrenchingly honest, unexpectedly witty, and profoundly human story that proves the personal is indeed political—and the political can become painfully personal.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bobbieharv - LibraryThing

I had a really hard time with this book: the character of the author, so passive and easily influenced until all of a sudden, after ruining several lives and the external culture had shifted, she wasn ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jesscscott - LibraryThing

I enjoyed the narrative, confessional style of the writing. It was not written in a "sensational" way to leverage on "shock value," just with a flow of honesty and precision with analyzing the events ... Read full review

Contents

part one 15761982
13
part two 19831993
37
Chapter Four Breaking the Silence
57
Chapter Five Daddy Cant Come Home Again
77
Chapter Six Remember
93
Chapter Seven Did He or Didnt He?
113
Chapter Eight In Therapy We Trust
129
Chapter Nine Doubt
147
Chapter Ten Deprogramming
165
Chapter Eleven What Was I Thinking?
181
Chapter Twelve Eternal Sunshine of
201
Chapter Thirteen In Neuroscience We Trust
219
Chapter Fourteen Amends
233
Grace
251
About the Author
257
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Meredith Maran is an award-winning journalist and the author of several best-selling nonfiction books, among them Dirty, Class Dismissed, and What It's Like to Live Now. Her work appears in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines including People, Self, Family Circle, More, Mother Jones, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Salon.com. A member of the National Book Critics Circle, she lives in Oakland, California.

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