The Fear of Freedom
Erich Fromm sees right to the heart of our contradictory needs for community and for freedom like no other writer before or since. In Fear of Freedom, Fromm warns that the price of community is indeed high, and it is the individual who pays. Fascism and authoritarianism may seem like receding shadows for some, but are cruel realities for many. Erich Fromm leaves a valuable and original legacy to his readers - a vastly increased understanding of the human character in relation to society. At the beginning of the 21st century, it is more important than ever to be aware of his powerful message. Listen, and take heed.
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Having read the previous review I felt I had to add a different perspective to this book. I love this book (along with Fromm's other work). Yes some of the language and a few of the ideas are dated. But this book was written in 1942 as Fromm joined a generation of thinkers who were trying to try to understand how and why fascism was able to take hold in Nazi Germany. Despite being written so long ago many of the main ideas in the book are very relevant to our modern world. Fromm talks of man's dilemma of being alone - his fear of isolation - and the consequent appeal of authoritarian regimes. He also talks of a lack of individuation in our society, the 'false sense of freedom' that pervades consumerism and man's lack of willingness (or strength) to overcome the fear of isolation and embrace the positive aspects of freedom. Anyone with an interest in psychology, sociology, politics, consumerism, or existentialism will enjoy this book.