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The Sane Society

4.23  ·  Rating Details ·  1,227 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
The Sane Society is a continuation and extension of the brilliant psychiatric concepts Erich Fromm first formulated in Escape from Freedom; it is also, in many ways, an answer to Freud's Civilization and its Discontents. Fromm examines man's escape into overconformity and the danger of robotism in contemporary industrial society: modern humanity has, he maintains, been ali ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published October 15th 1990 by Holt Paperbacks (first published 1956)
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Nov 17, 2015 Elena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book has been a psychological survival manual for me. I will always be indebted to Fromm for providing me with a way to hold on to hope in the spiritual progress of the human experiment in what is often a spiritually barren world. After all, without that hope, life doesn't really amount to much, despite all the rewards, recognition and shiny trinkets one might hoard to shore up against facing one's emptiness. He's given me better arguments than I could have forged on my own against falling ...more
A Brilliant work, a brilliant treasure from a brilliant mind. I prefer not to write a review. Just read it.
Mohamed Eshawaf
خمس نجوم (بدل أربعة) لجرعة الإنسانية اللي فجأة هبطت عليّ بسبب الكتاب دا،
فجأة أول ما صحيت من النوم امبارح افتكرت حد متابعه على تويتر ومقرتش له تويتات من زمان فصبحت عليه وعبّرت عن هذا الشعور بعفوية، رغم إننا عمرنا ما تفاعلنا مع بعض.
عن تعبيرات دخلت فجأة لقاموسي التعبيري زي مثلا "تِسلم يا صاحبي" بدل الجُمل العقيمة زي "تسلم يا كبير" و "شكرا يا ريس" ... وأشياء أخرى من هذا القبيل.
وافتقادي لبعض الأشخاص (على الجودريدز مثلا) وبروز هذا الإحساس بطريقة واضحة.

باختصار إحساس ما بإن الواحد لازم يطلّع الإن
David Cupples
Sep 09, 2013 David Cupples rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
One of the most important books ever written BY FAR, by one of the top psychiatrists/social commentators of the 20th Century. I read it as part of my reading list for my graduate exams at UCSB. That was a while ago but the main issue sticks prominently in one's head: Can a person truly be sane (healthy in body, mind and soul) in a society which is insane? In other words, most criteria for judging a person mentally healthy, or not, are based upon the individual's effective adaptation, or not, to ...more
ميقات الراجحي
بعد تحليل المجمتع من قبل فروم ومناقشة عيوبه وتأثيرها يبدأ يناقش تلك المشاكل والعلل وأثرها على الإنسان وكيف أنهكت الرأسمالية والاشتراكية والدكتاتورية على عقل الإنسان. ليطرح في الجزد الأخير من الكتاب حلوله الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية وكل ماهو مرتبط بالإنسان..

يحاول فروم مناقشة الإنسان في التاريخ الحديث وسط تحديات المجتمع الإقتصادي / الرأسمالي والإشتراكية ليخرج لنا فروم مايسميه هو الإشتراكية الاجتماعية لفهم ونهوض ونمو هذا الإنسان البسيط ليكون هو ذاته وليس آلة لخدمة غيره. هذا جل ما يتبناه فروم ف
Arjun Ravichandran
Superb book, which hides under its sober language, an anguished cry of outrage at the incredible violence done to our psyches under capitalism. The author, who was a disciple of Freud and a practising psychologist, delineates what he considers to be a 'sane society' (that is to say, a healthy society from a psychoanalytic perspective), how our society is missing this ideal by a long, long way ; and finally, what can be done to reverse this trend and bring about a state of affairs where such incr ...more
Nasser Moh'd
Dec 26, 2015 Nasser Moh'd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
لمن أراد أن يقرأ عن أمراض المجتمعات والسلوكيات "الغير سويّه" للجماعات فهذا فروم يبحث في الطبيعه الإنسانيه السويه حتى يُرسخ مفهوماً جديداً في الطبيعه البشريه متجاوزاً بذلك خطوه جديده في علم النفس .

كتاب مهم لجميع فئات المجتمع
Yaser Maadat
Dec 17, 2015 Yaser Maadat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
من أعظم ما قرأت لاريك فروم و من أعظم ما قرأت في علم النفس الاجتماعي،كتاب يركز فيه فروم على عورات المجتمعات الغربية و يبين حجم تدمير النظام الرأسمالي لأي مكانية لبناء سوي للمجتمع،يبدأ فروم بعرض وجهة نظره للمشاكل التي تجعل المجتمع مريضا غير سوي،مثلما تجعل الفرد متغربا في هذا المجتمع الذي يخلق نسخا متماثلة من البشر تسحق شيئا فشيئا أي انتماءات لهوية انسانية لديهم،ينتقل بعدها الى عرض نماذج واقعية تاريخية تبين تأثير الايديولوجيا و الصراع بين الرأسمالية و الاشتراكية في سحق الهوية الانسانية للمجتمعات ال ...more
Yousef Nabil
Mar 15, 2014 Yousef Nabil rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
كتاب غير عادى بكل المقاييس... حجم البصيرة المعرفية إللى فيه مذهلة بالإضافة لموضوعية من النادر أن تجدها فى مفكر يدرك مواطن قوة كل فيلسوف ومفكر آخر ومواطن ضعفه ويشير للإثنين بذكاء... الكتاب يتجاوز كل الطبقات السطحية من الوعى ويغوص فى أشد التحليلات عمقًا.
Sep 23, 2008 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How sane are we? This is a very hard question to answer because we do not know the line that demarcates sanity and insanity. Erich Fromm investigates the sanity of the present society. He found out that there are manifestations of social sickness that afflicts and distorts human relationship. Freedom is diminished in its worth and human dignity becomes something very ambiguous.
Haytham Lashin
Jan 21, 2014 Haytham Lashin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب لطيف، بيعرف المجتمع السليم علي انه المجتمع اللي بيلبي حاجات الانسان، ومن هنا بيبدأ يفكر ويناقش حاجات الانسان الاساسية ، وبعدين بيتكلم علي اكبر المشاكل اللي بيواجهها الانسان مؤخراً وهي _من وجهة نظره_ الانفصال ، انفصال الانسان عن الطبيعة وعن نفسه وعن تلبية حاجاته الاساسية، بيناقش _بسرعة_ ازاي مجتمع القرن 18 وال 19 حاولوا يحلوا المشكلة دي، وبعدين بيناقش ازي ان المجتمع الرأسمالي والشيوعية _جهم يكحلوها عموها_ بدل ما يحلوا مشكلة الانسان عمقوها اكتر وزادوا من احساس الانسان بالانفصال. وبعدين في اخر ...more
Leslie Erin Quinn
Sep 14, 2010 Leslie Erin Quinn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Erich Fromm, but reading his books is not something to be taken lightly. It's not that he is dry and boring (quite the opposite) but he supported his ideas so well that it is a bit hard to read more than a chapter or two at a time because his arguments come with some much evidence and exposition. Well worth the time it takes to get through it but definitely not a book you want to take on vacation with you.
Oct 07, 2007 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Psychoanalysts, Economists, Sociologists
Writing in the era of encroaching Communism and the rise of the Evil Empire, 2 years before the successful launch of Sputnik. One choice excerpt from pg. 363:

"Man today is confronted with the most fundamental choice; not that between Capitalism or Communism, but that between robotism (of both the capitalist and the communist variety), or Humanistic Communitarian Socialism."
May 04, 2015 G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...greediness, ambition, and so forth are forms of insanity, although usually one does not think of them as 'illness.'"
Benedictus (Baruch) de Spinoza

Erich Fromm was born in Frankfurt am Main, in 1900, into a cultivated and religious milieu. As an adolescent, he was particularly attracted to the Messianic visions of universal peace and harmony in Jewish thought, and later belonged to the same circle as the existential theologian Martin Buber. After an extensive study of psychology and sociology
May 07, 2007 AJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: mind
"good quote"; "fantastic quote"; "good quote"; "good quote"; "good quote"; "good quote"; "good quote"; "good quote"; "holy shit"; "good quote"; "wow";"good quote"... you get the idea.

True enlightenment is on the horizon...a MUST read!
Mikael Lind
Mar 15, 2011 Mikael Lind rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics, psychology
A great read. This book gives the reader a good overview of the ideas and ideals behind Fromm's democratic socialism. A critique of both US capitalism and Soviet communism.
Nov 15, 2009 Dia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been 25 years since I first read this book -- and 45 years since it was first published. It's interesting to reflect on why this book resonated so profoundly when I was a teenager. I must have already shared many of its views, but I remember having a revelatory feeling as I read it, as if truly learning something about human nature and the world we live in. I suppose that's an ancient paradox about education: we can't learn something that is utterly foreign to us, yet by definition learning ...more
Sep 13, 2007 Javier rated it liked it
Shelves: post-college
For the most part, I loved Fromm's analysis of contemporary (industrialized, Western) society (I did, though, see his views on homosexuality and international relations as troubling); I found his critique of Sigmund Freud affirming and highly relevant. As I've found, though, with many who take a critical view of the current state of affairs, Fromm here seems far less imaginative in his prescriptions and suggestions for how to move society beyond the alienation, repression, boredom, anomie, and ...more
Aug 20, 2010 Bria rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the insane
It's a little difficult to unpack the parts that are mistaken or just products of the time, and those that at least so far still seem to be very true, since they are so well intertwined. But the basic message that the entire structure and expectations and ambitions of a society can, in fact, be insane I believe to be undoubtedly the case, and it's somewhat depressing to realize that this book was written 55 years ago, and that the message has been repeated, and even accepted and believed countle ...more
mis fit
Jun 04, 2014 mis fit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work, labor, psychology, health
hmmmmm i like a lot of things about this book and i have reservations about some parts. fromm provides some pretty poetic descriptions of mental health and the development of human potential, as well as some beautiful criticism of capitalist society. but i do wonder if the 'roads to sanity' that he suggests are actually radical enough to make such a huge change in people's lives.

at the very least, it made me feel 18 again, reading something exciting about how the world could be......
سعيد عبدالغنى
كتاب متميز لكاتب متميز، يتحدث إريك فروم عن المجتمع وطبيعة المجتمعات وهل تمرض المجتمعات وعوامل الصحة والمرض في المجتمع.
تحدث الكاتب عن عملية التصنيع والانتاج والاستهلاك، وتحول عملية الاستهلاك من عملية إنسانية محسوسة لها علاقة بحاجاتنا البدنية والنفسية إلي عملية إثارة مصطنعة للأوهام ثم اشباع هذة الاوهام في عملية وهمية منفصلة عن ذواتنا الحقيقية المحسوسة.
اجاد الكاتب فيما يتعلق بعلاقة الانسان بالانسان وعلاقة الفرد بالمجموع وتأثير القوبلة والتنميط والتكثيف التي يتعرض لها الافراد والميل للتوحيد بين النا
Feb 25, 2010 Sidney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved his take on the religious, God-parent-child, take on how we interact or see or feel about God, or whatever it is you choose to call "Higher Self".
Christine Shan
Jun 05, 2016 Christine Shan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a society, are we sane? Why is the comfortable materialistic life irrelevant for many who choose suicide in the wealthy developed nations? This book tries to offer an answer and solutions to a sane society.
Man seeks to become free and strives for meaning in work. Over the centuries, religious and societal ideals converge to form the idea that the unity of man, of reason, love and justice are goals man must strive for. With the advent of technology, physical energy of animals and men have bee
Collin O'Donnell
Erich Fromm, a more rational, humanist successor of Freud, is, historically, a victim of his own temperance. He's not got much of a name in the psychology game anymore, and through the screen of 2016, his diagnoses can come off as incredibly pedestrian and obvious, and his solutions as the stuff pipe-dreams are made of. With his previous work, Escape from Freedom, I chose to judge it based off how I thought someone in the 1940s (when it was published) might view it as opposed to how I actually f ...more
Jan 16, 2014 blakeR rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anth-sosh
Not my favorite of Fromm's -- That honor is still reserved for the three-way tie of Escape from Freedom, The Art of Loving and Marx's Concept of Man -- but he still impresses with his daunting intellect and analytic capacity.

The book begins well and quickly draws you in, as Fromm reviews his argument against Western society and the way that it alienates man from himself, inadvertently creating a modern "robotism." This line of thought is taken from his previous books (including the ones listed a
Jul 23, 2011 Jon added it
This is still of interest not only for Fromm's views but for what is inadvertently revealed about shibboleths of the day (the 1950s), as when Fromm suggests that poverty will soon be a thing of the past in the US. A few years later, Michael Harrington's THE OTHER AMERICA would make nonsense of THAT notion. Also, this book was written at the height of the Great Comic Book Scare of the 50s, when violent comics (the "child porn" of the day) were accused of causing kids to run amok and commit all ki ...more
Denton McCabe
A dated look at society from one of the greatest minds of his time.

I have only read The Art of Loving and I think it is much more beneficial than this book. Although, his book did illuminate my understanding of certain problems (i.e. fascist attitudes, exploitation, income inequalities), but these were problems that Fromm did not consider American capitalism to have in 1955. This book definitely has its moments, but it is probably best to read 300+ pages of something else.
This may have been considered revolutionary at one point, but all these old-left guys have started to sound the same to me. Ultimately, they're espousing the Ten Commandments. Which is fine, but it's as watery as hell and has all the intellectual rigor of a human interest special on the local news.

But Fromm is a bit better than that. He does a pretty good job of winnowing what's valuable about Freud from what's not. And his warnings against the economism of society are as prescient as ever. That
Jan 02, 2016 Vik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Swedish psychoanalyst Erich Fromm probes the cerebral vigor of modern 21st century western civilization where humans are reduced to automatons who consume just to escape modern day drudgery and alienation from others.
Fromm touches all aspects of western modernism from which pathological neurosis arises like isolated living in hi-rises to alienated relationships through technological advances, where temporary instant gratification has become a necessity like a drug.
I found the psychological effec
There were some things I really liked and agreed with but I'm not sure about all of Fromm's suggestions here and the parts that were mainly just quotes from others were tough to get through. I think the beginning few chapters were the strongest, and Fromm's ideas make the most sense applied to individuals, rather than to society, in my opinion.
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Erich Fromm was a German-born U.S. psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society. His works include The Art of Loving; Love, Sexuality, and Matriarchy; and Man for Himself. He died in 1980.

Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and so on. In other word
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“That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” 230 likes
“The fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share the same form of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” 97 likes
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