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Listen, Little Man! (Noonday) Paperback – 1 Jul 1974

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux Inc (1 July 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374504016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374504014
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 138,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By galeotti@terra.com.br on 27 Dec. 2000
Format: Paperback
No matter how much personal achievement you've got so far, there, deep inside each of us, lurks a collective John Doe - that culturally determined part of our psyche - we seldom are aware of. John Doe in us never thinks... it is itself thought and repeats like a parrot all the prejudice and common place jargons introjected in us since our childhood. Dare to read this book without identifying its content to nobody else but yourself .. and maybe you will get rid off the Little Man (or Woman) inside you and be really free to love, to care and to be happy. Sandra Galeotti
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Papworth on 8 Sept. 2000
Format: Paperback
Orwell comments in "1984" through his hero Winston, that "..the best books are those that don't tell you anything". Certainly Reich's book affirmed my own feelings on humanity but possibly expressed them much better than I ever could. Along with "Escape From Freedom" by Fromm, this is one of the most liberating reads I've known. Highly recommended.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Shivari VINE VOICE on 24 Mar. 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book does not present a coherent theory, but contains Reich's personal reflections during the period 1943-1946. The backdrop of WWII may make this occasionally seem dated, but dictatorship is perennial: the names change, but the form remains the same.
Although Reich claims that he is writing this book because he cares about the ordinary person, there is a great deal of anger and bitterness here about the way he has been treated by the world: lauded then hounded, acclaimed then denounced. This "righteous anger" at times appears venomous, and when someone is being "cruel to be kind" we need to be cautious about how we weigh their words.
Having said all which, this book is crammed full of devastating insights into the human condition: the extent to which people refuse to take responsibility for their own lives; how materialism is underpinned by a fear of looking inside oneself, inner insecurity replaced by a desire for outward security; issues of happiness, power and authority. The list goes on... The fears and anxieties cause "psychic constipation" that becomes manifested as physical rigidity in the musculature: Reich's body-armour theory that informs most current therapuetic theory, both in psychotherapy and alternative approaches.
To summarise: you need to be aware of Reich's own anger and bitterness and the cruelty of his approach and how that may resonate in you; but beneath that there is a welath of insight into what lies beneath the ordinary person's inability to fulfill their potential and create freedom and happiness in their lives.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ldxar1 on 29 Jan. 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a brilliant book - there's still plenty of "little men" about, and we all find ourselves thinking like the "little man" at times - but perhaps we'll do it less after reading this book. Reich is an absolute genius at debunking the ridiculous posturings of people whose anxieties and drive for security make them take up silly positions and ruin their own lives and everyone else's. "Little man" still isn't litstening, and if only he was, the world would be a much better place.
Of all Reich's books, this is the most accessible and readable (reminiscent in style of Nietzsche).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Dec. 1998
Format: Paperback
The best book i have ever read.. I have never again seen such a genius book descibing man so small .. making him seem more and more faint in his eyes. And trying to help him become , from a little man , a big man . ... Read it... If you understand the 10 % of it , you will be truly happy .
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By "mattwilso" on 26 May 2004
Format: Paperback
Wilhelm Reich writes the book that everyone who has ever reflected on the world and human nature would like to write at some time. Passionate and eloquent denunciations of the people who are the victims, sustainers and perpetrators of every vicious, humiliating and life-denying political regime, human organisation, human act or human thought: ourselves - the Little Person. This book has been written several times before, by Nietzsche, by Montaigne, by Dostoyevsky, by Napoleon, by Shakespeare, but here there is a difference. Reich is not an elitist who believes in 'higher-types' and looks on the current men and women as irredeemable failures; he believes in them, that is what feeds his anger. He hates them because (aside from abuses suffered) he believes that they can be better. And at the centre of the work there is not contempt for Man but humanity. A great read and a great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reich wades into the swamp of unrequited belief. The aim, to anlayse where it all went wrong and keeps going awry. Reich is fundamentally inspired by human liberation, the desire to unshackle humanity from all forms of tyranny. In reality he found himself increasingly alienated, shunned and finally ignored from those he wished to release from false belief. Here he journeys backwards in his projection. Analysing why people apparently choose docility and slavery over vitality and zest.

The narrative strikes resonances within the present. Coated in his personal woundings, the insight unfurls, connecting to the early epoch of the 21st century.

The little man, bows in awe, to his projected belief in the great man. The great man, is however a little man surrounding himself with the beliefs and trappings of greatness, the Wizard of Oz, the manager of appearances. Inside him is a hollow kernel, it echoes and resonates with the zeitgeist. Paranoid he will always be found out and exposed. The great man builds his creaking stage on the projections of thousands of millions of little men (and women). They beam their lack of self belief outwardly onto someone they deem superior. His/her greatness is stacked on their self denigration. The lower the serf-belief, the greater the celebrity, white knight; the life saviour.

Absolving personal responsibility becomes the game of shuffle,involving the sacrifice of celebrity failures, those who usurp their status. Collapse brings psychological malaise, the feeling of being let down. An abstract entity carries on their mediated shoulders the collective burden of blame.

Individual achievement is subsumed within staged abstract entities.
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