- Paperback: 688 pages
- Publisher: Pimlico; New Ed edition (4 Sept. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0712674896
- ISBN-13: 978-0712674898
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 161,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Anatomy Of Human Destructiveness Paperback – 4 Sep 1997
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More About the Author
"If any single book could bring mankind to its senses, this book might qualify for that miracle...It is the product of one of the most alert, the most penetrating and the most mature minds of our time" (Lewis Mumford The Times)
"A major work of argument and reflection on human aggression" (Economist)
"A stunningly erudite book...it demands that we confront our own, and our civilization's character, if we are to understand the nature of our violence" (New Society)
What makes men kill? How can we explain man's lust for cruelty and destruction? This pioneering work provides the answers.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
And he begins by rejecting, or more accurately speaking: fusing, both the polar extremes. Both the instinctivist view - which says that man is innately violent and seeks out ways to channel his anger - and the behaviourist explanation - which says that it is situations created by the overarching social conditions which give rise to mans anger - are rejected as counterintuitive and unnecessary limited.
The neurology of our minds show that like all other animals we are designed by biology to fight or flee when our vital interests are threatened - and in most cases we flee. This is defensive aggression, which serves a obvious part in our survival. But, not only does imagination and human intelligence make our vital interests more expansive than the mechanistic needs of a rabbit (for example) but we are also the only animal that engages in violence and torture when there is no threat. We are the only species that willingly inflicts pain and suffering intra-specifically (and inter-specifically) when there is no clear incitation to do so. This is what Fromm calls malignant aggression.Read more ›
This is a big book brimming and frothing with ideas. Modern insights have been built on this work, so it remains glued to its time. It is a signpost rather than a final statement. It still is relevant. It's just too reliant on Freud's drive theory, the reversion back to instinct and genes to be wholly relevant. The drive theory is eaily conjured where a psychological impasse arises and explanations falter. It requires no further effort and we call all retreat mumbling the two words between our lips. It is an over arching assumption rather than just an exploration with the person of how they have constructed their worlds. This was the great patronising gift of Freud to the world "I know better than you."
In discussing Hitler he seems unware of his sustained hatred of his family. This was so intense he sent the German tanks to practice on the site of his former village, Dollersheim wiping it from the records. Not the acts of a man who wishes to sanctify his childhood foundations and create a shrine from his personality cult. More like an act of revenge on a family that offered little in support.
Fromm portrays him as feckless, narcisistic and arrogant. So 'arrogant' he spent 1909-1914 in various flop houses, homeless hostels in the modern world, selling picture postcards of his views of Vienna and eventually Munich To sustain his view Fromm details him as a man wanting to be an artist, but eschewing hard work.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great if you are interested in the human mind and psychology as it gives great insights into these areas but its quite heavy reading.Published on 5 Aug. 2013 by William Logue