Thinking in the Shadow of Feelings: A New Understanding of the Hidden Forces That Shape Individuals and Societies

Reuven Bar Levav, Author, Reuven Bar-Levav, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-60631-2
Bar-Levav diagnoses the vast majority of adults as physically grown-up children of greatly varying emotional ages. He demonstrates that people's actions are swayed by irrational fears of being abandoned, engulfed or destroyed, even as we pretend to be rational beings. Most of us, he argues, suffer long-term depression sustained by a deep sense of failure and futility. The author, a psychotherapist and an editor of the journal Voices, offers many fresh insights, but his attempt to link his broad theory of human behavior to social and political problems is simplistic. For example, one questions his view that people with an ill-defined sense of self tend to support liberal causes, or his belief that fear of being hurt or destroyed underlies a homosexual orientation. Crammed into this study are warnings against overpopulation, an analysis of romantic love as aggressive, tips on parenting and a defense of ``sensible selfishness.'' Psychology Today Book Club alternate. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1988
Release date: 07/01/1988
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