The Psychology of War: Comprehending Its Mystique and Its Madness

Lawrence LeShan, Author Noble Press Inc $16.95 (163p) ISBN 978-1-879360-20-4
LeShan, a clinical psychologist and author of Cancer as a Turning Point , argues that wars are an aspect of human behavior. War--widespread, easy to start, difficult to control--he maintains, fulfills psychological needs and eases tensions by creating an alternate reality structure, a binary vision of good versus evil. Like a mythic event, war makes the lives of individual participants more intense and more meaningful, at the same time creating the sense of a collective engaged in a noble enterprise. LeShan's explanations of war's appeal are more convincing than his ideas for calling on psychology and other social sciences to make us less susceptible to warmongering. Educational reforms to foster self-acceptance and government reforms to encourage peace-seeking appear fragile barriers against the powerful forces LeShan describes. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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