MARIE CARDINAL is the author of many works, including Les Mots pour le dire (translated as The Words to Say It: An Autobiographical Novel).
Bruno Bettelheim had remarkable success in treating deeply emotionally disturbed children. A pupil of Sigmund Freud, he was a vehement opponent of the operant conditioning methods of B. F. Skinner and other behaviorists. Austrian-born, Bettelheim came to the United States in 1939. Profoundly influenced by the year he spent in a German concentration camp during World War II, he reflects in his writings his sensitivity and knowledge of the fear and anxiety induced under such conditions. His famous Individual and Mass Behavior (1943), first published in a scientific periodical and then in pamphlet form, is a study of the human personality under the stress of totalitarian terror and concentration-camp living. Bettelheim sees a relationship between the disturbances of the concentration camp survivors and those of the autistic, or rigidly withdrawn, children whom he describes in The Empty Fortress (1967), because both have lived through extreme situations. The Children of the Dream (1969) describes with considerable enthusiasm the absence of neurosis in children brought up on kibbutzim in Israel in groups of other children and cared for by adults who are not their parents. Bettelheim believes that American ghetto children would benefit from this kind of experience in preference to the at best partial help of present programs designed to accelerate educational progress for the deprived. From 1944 to 1973, Bettelheim served as the principal of the Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, a residential laboratory for the treatment of disturbed children at the University of Chicago. Up until his death in 1990, Bettelheim remained active in his scholarly pursuits, continuing to write about the nurturing of healthy children and devoting himself to improving the human condition.