The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love's Prophet

Paperback | August 12, 2014

byLawrence J. Friedman

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Erich Fromm was a political activist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, and one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. Known for his theories of personality and political insight, Fromm dissected the sadomasochistic appeal of brutal dictators while also eloquently championing love-which, he insisted, was nothing if it did not involve joyful contact with others and humanity at large. Admired all over the world, Fromm continues to inspire with his message of universal brotherhood and quest for lasting peace.

The first systematic study of Fromm's influences and achievements, this biography revisits the thinker's most important works, especially Escape from Freedom and The Art of Loving, which conveyed important and complex ideas to millions of readers. The volume recounts Fromm's political activism as a founder and major funder of Amnesty International, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy, and other peace groups. Consulting rare archival materials across the globe, Lawrence J. Friedman reveals Fromm's support for anti-Stalinist democratic movements in Central and Eastern Europe and his efforts to revitalize American democracy. For the first time, readers learn about Fromm's direct contact with high officials in the American government on matters of war and peace while accessing a deeper understanding of his conceptual differences with Freud, his rapport with Neo-Freudians like Karen Horney and Harry Stack Sullivan, and his association with innovative artists, public intellectuals, and world leaders. Friedman elucidates Fromm's key intellectual contributions, especially his innovative concept of "social character," in which social institutions and practices shape the inner psyche, and he clarifies Fromm's conception of love as an acquired skill. Taking full stock of the thinker's historical and global accomplishments, Friedman portrays a man of immense authenticity and spirituality who made life in the twentieth century more humane than it might have been.

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Erich Fromm was a political activist, psychologist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, and one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. Known for his theories of personality and political insight, Fromm dissected the sadomasochistic appeal of brutal dictators while also eloquently championing love-which, he insisted, was...

Lawrence J. Friedman is a professor in Harvard University's Mind/Brain/Behavior Initiative and a professor emeritus at Indiana University. The author of eight scholarly books and more than fifty articles, he has lectured in eleven countries and was named International Writer of the Year for 2003 by the International Biographical Cente...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:410 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:August 12, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231162596

ISBN - 13:9780231162593

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Read an excerpt on Erich Fromm's The Art of Loving (to view in full screen, click on icon in bottom right-hand corner)

Table of Contents

Foreword, by Gerald N. GrobAcknowledgmentsPrologue: Writing LivesPart 1: Germany1. The Unsteady Apprentice2. Frankfurt ScholarPart 2: The Americas3. The Americanization of a European Intellectual4. Escape from Freedom5. Clinician and Ethicist6. To Love and to Mentor7. Politics and ProsePart 3: Global Citizenship8. Prophecies for a Troubled World9. A Third Way10. "Life Is Extravagance": Almost11. Hope and Stasis12. Love and DeathA Bibliographical NoteNotesIndex

Editorial Reviews

An outstanding intellectual and biographical study... Lawrence Friedman effectively helps us understand the lives and transformations of Erich Fromm as analyzed in this lucid book.