The Legacy of Erich Fromm

The Legacy of Erich Fromm

Fromm, as a member of what Burston calls Freud's "loyal opposition", did a very unusual thing, unusual, that is, for a committed psychoanalyst. He tried genuinely to broaden the scope of psychoanalysis by integrating psychoanalytic theory into a more diverse cultural conversation that could include economics, philosophy, and anthropology, among many other disciplines.


. . . the man who emerges from between the lines of this book is a vividly complicated, indeed an extraordinary man . . . And Fromm's extensive writings, to which Burston gives detailed attention, are remarkable for their range and for certain insistent preoccupations. Fromm's persistent interest in idolatry, the nature of aggression, and the need for mutuality both in psychoanalytic treatment and in lived life is not easy to dismiss . . .


-- Adam Phillips, in The New Republic


Like many others of his generation, this transplanted German-Jewish thinker has often been misunderstood and is now threatened with oblivion. Burston has set himself a task to rescue Fromm from such a fate, to clear up misunderstandings, and to locate him in relation to the diverse intellectual sources on which he drew. Burston leads the reader on a detailed journey through 19th and 20th century intellectual history, a discussion that includes the ideas of . . . J.J. Bachofen, Marx and Weber, the early Freudian dissidents Reich, Horney and Thompson, and existentialists like Buber and Scheler. His book is an intelligent, lucid and highly readable intellectual biography . . . a highly commendable work of humanistic scholarship.


-- Zvi Lothane, in Psychoanalytic Books


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