on 4 October 2000
Erich Fromm is more 'fully human' than any other author I know of. He considers ideas introduced from many great people of the past (Spinoza, Marx, Eckhardt, Buddha) and identifies a common thread between them. He then uses this common theme in order to state that man has two options in deciding how to relate to this world - one based on selfishness and greed, the other based on love, solidarity, creativity. Anybody who has been influenced by books written by Buddhist authors (eg Dalai Lama, Hanh) will particularly benefit from reading this, although it is probably a more difficult read than these. Fromm raises aspects about the effects our society has on us that we generally don't realise. These effects are very damaging to us as people. The book should help people become aware of their inner nature - the true motives behind their actions.
on 16 December 2009
Words of wisdom, as relevant today as when the book was written, though marred slightly for me by a somewhat dated and naive humanist perspective. Also I found the writing style to be rather dry and heavy going at times. All in all though this was an inspiring read - but it is also depressing when you consider how much worse things have got since the book was written (over 30 years ago). As civilisation goes down the pan, humans are more possesive and materialistic than ever. In this world having has certainly triumphed over being. But we can always work on ourselves as individuals...
on 13 January 2014
I read quite some of Fromm's books over the past few years. They are all fabulous, not only because of his signature sharp and crisp writing style, but also because of his relentless insights into the nature of humanity, our contemporary society and his radical love for man and our true greatness of being....if we should allow it.
on 3 May 2013
Thought provoking, as Fromm always is! This work is liberating, pointing to the shallowness of so-called consumerism and it's part in our enslavement and alienation under the reins of capitalism.
I think this book should be read in conjunction with Jean Baudrillard's 'Consumer Society: Myths an Structures'
on 12 August 2011
This is a wonderful read, only 4 stars instead of 5 because some of it is dated but as most of the ideas are timeless much to learn from this book in any way. How depressing to think how much worse the world got since this was written. But maybe, just maybe after the crash we can built up a society more keen on being?