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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much as its good to see Erich Fromm in print again, 12 Mar. 2013
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Disobedience: Why Freedom Means Saying "NO" to Power (Harperperennial Modern Thought) (Paperback)
This book is only half a book really, if even that.

I had a copy of "On Disobedience and other essays" from the 1980s which contains the contents of this book (essays Disobedience as a psychological and moral problem; Prophets and priests; Let Man Prevail; Humanist Socialism) and much more (The application of humanist psychoanalysis to Marx's Theory; Humanism as a Global Philosophy of Man; The psychological aspects of the guaranteed income; The case for unilateral disarmament; The psychological problems of aging; On the Theory and Strategy of Peace).

With the arranged essays here it is possible to form some opinions and reach some conclusions about Fromm's own humanistic interpretations of religious and psychological theoretical traditions, including his own, and his politics, which is great and I really commend to confirmed Fromm readers or general readers alike.

Although the omissions of some of the other essays does detract from the overall good of the book, hunt down one of the earlier publications, the two essays, one on the idea of a guaranteed annual income (which as a replacement for tax funded state provision of goods and services has its supporters among free marketeer policy pundits and economists these days) and another on aging are absolute over looked gems.

Neither of these essays are likely to have the appeal of the "greater themes" of Fromm, for firm fans or new comers to this writing alike, but the are timely reading for anyone living in countries like the UK which are experiencing demographic shifts and controlled by politicians prepared for radical rethinks and restructuring of jobs and benefits. I also think that there is something about Fromm's writing on topics like this which is overlooked, he can do the bracing, prophetic and championing grand visionary designs the very best but he can just as well do more mundane, pragmatic and reforming topics too.

This condensed collection is a small and a short book, it has a contents and no index, it could fit easily into a cargo pants or coat pocket and the graphic design makes me think it is aimed or marketed at a target audience of younger or possibly student readership. Very well, so far as neatly packaged philosophical tracts for younger readers perhaps wrestling with ideas about themselves, the world they inhabit and what would is the good to be aimed at in possible change in their life time this would not go very far wrong. Hopefully reading it would be a spring board to reading more of Fromm's other essays, including the ones I mentioned, some of the other books in the series, like Schumpeter and Kirkegaard, mentioned at the back of the book are fine too.
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On Disobedience: Why Freedom Means Saying "NO" to Power (Harperperennial Modern Thought)
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