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The Sane Society

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,700 ratings  ·  97 reviews
Social psychologist Erich Fromm’s seminal exploration of the profound ills of modern society, and how best to overcome them

One of Fromm’s main interests was to analyze social systems and their impact on the mental health of the individual. In this study, he reaches further and asks: “Can a society be sick?” He finds that it can, arguing that Western culture is immersed in
Kindle Edition, 386 pages
Published March 26th 2013 by Open Road Media (first published 1955)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,700 ratings  ·  97 reviews

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Dec 24, 2012 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 Elshawaf
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
Dec 21, 2012 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
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
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
Yousef Nabil
Mar 10, 2014 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.
Nach Haben oder Sein, Die Furcht vor der Freiheit, und Die Kunst des Liebens ist dies nun mein viertes Werk des deutschen Psychoanalytikers und Anthropologen Erich Fromm (gestorben 1980). Allgemein kann ich die Lektüre seiner soziokritischen Thesen sehr empfehlen, da sie kaum an gesellschaftlicher Relevanz eingebüsst haben.

In Wege aus einer kranken Gesellschaft, welches 1955 erstmals in den USA veröffentlicht wurde, analysiert Fromm die zunehmende Entfremdung des (westlichen) Menschen von seine
Nov 15, 2009 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
Nasser Moh'd
Dec 12, 2015 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
How can a book like this exist since 1955? I've been hearing all these arguments my entire life, who knew they started even earlier then that (well technically they started around Marx).

Fromm's central premise is that an entire society can have lost its sanity, and as an example for that kind of insane society he uses 1950s capitalism with a few side-excursions into Soviet-style Communism (I wonder what he would think of neoliberalism - probably the same things, but even more disgust). In capita
Yaser Maadat
Dec 07, 2015 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
Sep 23, 2008 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.
Apr 23, 2015 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
Sep 13, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mohammed Hindash
I like how the author explains his theories and defends them with other sources and also criticizes the sources at the same time. This way of writing can be misinterpreted, but the author revisits and explains every contradicting thought or something related to that.
Even though this was written in 1950s, yet the book is very accurate on various aspects of modern society mental problems that are rooted in the problems of materialism and overconsumption. As the author says, this is mainly due to t
Leslie Erin Quinn
Aug 31, 2010 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 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 07, 2007 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 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.
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
Martin Hassman
První polovina knihy byla skvělá, druhá mi přišla hodně slabá. Zejména protože byla plná marxismu a socialismu - jednak jsem se tady dost nechytal (rozuměj nemám to nastudováno) a pak nedovedu k těmhle oblastem přistupovat objektivně a v klidu bez jakési emoční pachutě. Tak je klidně možné, že mi nějaké zajímavé myšlenky z té druhé poloviny utekly. Ale první půlka knihy mi rozhodně něco dala, tak se to čtení vyplatilo.
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ma..mama we're all crazy now!! from the Rockformation Slade was one of my favorite songs.
I used the songtitel in one of my email adresses!
Even a most brilliant analysis of an Erich Fromm about the structures of our society fades away, lets us continue unchanged like the centuries before.
But the question stays unanswered: Why we don't change? Why i don't change?
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ideally, this book would be the canonical text on which licensing exams for politicians and leaders of industry were based.
Haytham Lashin
Dec 26, 2013 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
Jul 10, 2010 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
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
mis fit
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: health, labor, psychology, work
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......
Feb 25, 2010 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".
اريك فروم مفكر وفيلسوف عبقري فذ , ولديه نظرة تحليلية معتدلة تتمركز باظهار الانسان بشكل عقلاني من البداية , وهنا يقول كيف يمكن ان تمتد الى النهاية
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Erich Fromm, Ph.D. (Sociology, University of Heidelberg, 1922), was a psychoanalyst and social philosopher who explored the interaction between psychology and society, and held various professorships in psychology in the U.S. and Mexico in the mid-20th century.

Fromm's theory is a rather unique blend of Freud and Marx. Freud, of course, emphasized the unconscious, biological drives, repression, and
“That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.” 296 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.” 137 likes
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