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The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times
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The Minimal Self: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  73 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Faced with an escalating arms race, rising crime and terrorism, environmental deterioration, and long-term economic decline, people have retreated from commitments that presuppose a secure and orderly world. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a searc ...more
Paperback, 1st paperback edition, 317 pages
Published 1984 by W.W. Norton & Company
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Jenni Link
Jan 20, 2015 Jenni Link rated it it was amazing
I picked this up after it was mentioned in The Baffler's review of Elizabeth Lunbeck's 'The Americanization of Narcissism' (, and I'm glad I did. I'm an absolute junkie for social psych / 'what makes society tick' books, and although this was published in 1984, it's still very insightful about the current day difficulty of figuring out how to live in a world that seems like it's falling apart around us. A follow up to and clarification of Lasch's more fam ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Tucker rated it really liked it
Shelves: finished, existential
This book reads as a collection of essays across different disciplines or areas of thought. The subtitle is not very revealing. In part, the book questions, rather than endorses, the goal of "survival." Lasch says that the problem with setting personal survival as a life goal is that it is a very low standard. It ignores questions of human flourishing (including art, civilization, ethics, friendship, and so on), and it eliminates the possibility of altruistic self-sacrifice for those goals, as s ...more
James Andersen
What can one make of this book? One needs to consider the authors views first, I think before one reads the book, because the author seems all over the place, at least it seemed so when this person was reading it. One minute you think you found someone who understands you (in my case because of his rejection of progressivism in particular feminism), the next you think where has he gone off to (again, in my case, because of the seeming moderate position he takes toward Progressivism).

Mr. Lasch, a
Cameron Bernard
Nov 27, 2015 Cameron Bernard rated it liked it
The way forward is neither Promethean or Narcissism, both of which have been embraced by modern liberalism. The self must again find a way to cultivate creation instead of dominate it or symbiotically become a part of it. Lasch also gives a fair critique of conservative thought that seeks to turn back the clock to an authoritative view that rests on fear and respect alone. A good conservativism is one that seeks forgiveness and reconciliation. A good conservativism sees the self as always in ten ...more
Ψυχική επιβίωση σε καιρούς αναστάτωσης
"Σε μια εποχή δυσκολιών, η καθημερινή ζωή γίνεται άσκηση στην επιβίωση. Οι άνθρωποι ζουν μόνο το σήμερα. Σπάνια κοιτάζουν πίσω για να μη παραδοθούν σε μια παραλυτική νοσταλγία. και αν κοιτάζουν μπρος, είναι για να δουν πως μπορούν να προστατευθούν από τις συμφορές που σχεδόν όλοι περιμένουμε σήμερα.
Η συναισθηματική ισορροπία απαιτεί σήμερα έναν ελάχιστο εαυτό, και όχι τον επιβλητικό εαυτό του πρόσφατου παρελθόντος."
Έτσι ξεκινά το βιβλίο του ο Κρίστοφερ Λας κ
Apr 20, 2016 Dan rated it liked it
All the Freud and reaction to Freud makes this the most dated-feeling Lasch I've read so far, but the stuff about the titular minimal self and the survival mentality is a great reimagining of what was misunderstood in The Culture of Narcissism.
Giuseppe D'Antonio
Nov 14, 2010 Giuseppe D'Antonio rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my, favorite, e, politica, società
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