The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2001 - Psychology - 150 pages
5 Reviews

First published more than twenty years ago, with almost 150,000 copies sold, The Golden Cage is still the classic book on anorexia nervosa, for patients, parents, mental health trainees, and senior therapists alike. Writing in direct, jargon-free style, often quoting her patients' descriptions of their own experience of illness and recovery, Bruch describes the relentless pursuit of thinness and the search for superiority in self-denial that characterizes anorexia nervosa. She emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis and offers guidance on danger signs. Little-known when this groundbreaking book was first published, eating disorders have become all too familiar. Sympathetic and astute, The Golden Cage now speaks to a new generation.

"The story of the disorder itself is beautifully written, presented with a deftness, lightness, and accuracy that make the reader yearn to turn the page, to watch the unfolding of this very enigmatic disorder. This is the single most important professionally written book for laypersons and parents."

-Shervert H. Frazier, M.D., McLean Hospital

"The Golden Cage is eminently readable and generously spiced with vivid illustrations from Bruch's own clinical case material. Her discussion of and generalization from this material is wonderfully astute."

-Contemporary Psychology

Hilde Bruch was Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicineand the author of Learning Psychotherapy: Rationale and Ground Rules (Harvard) and Eating Disorders.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa

User Review  - Janelle Silbert - Goodreads

Gives a really good overview of anorexia nervosa, as well as some of the complicating factors Read full review

Review: The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa

User Review  - Charlotte Bevan - Goodreads

Some 30 years out of date and a very destructive book. Science has moved on and most of Bruch's clinical observation about the role of the family, control and other clinical observations have been ... Read full review


The Hunger Disease
Sparrow in a Cage
The Perfect Childhood
How It Starts
The Anorexic Stance
Weight Correction
Family Disengagement
Changing the Mind

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2001)

Hilde Bruch was Professor of Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine and the author of several books includingEating Disorders.

Bibliographic information