The Betrayal of the Self: The Fear of Autonomy in Men and Women

Arno Gruen, Author, Hildegarde Hannum, Translator, Hunter Hannum, Translator Grove Press $17.95 (154p) ISBN 978-0-8021-1017-6
One of Gruen's debatable findings in this provocative study is that men, cut off from their feelings, are far more oppressed than women. In both sexes, asserts this Swiss-based psychoanalyst, a false, inauthentic self develops as the obedient child learns to deny its own impulses. He argues that the drive for power, for control over oneself and others, chokes off true self-knowledge. Men become robot-like as they plot their lives in terms of abstract concepts; women who identify with powerful males mythologize themselves. Gruen's mapping of the flight from self may sound familiar to readers of Erich Fromm, yet he offers fresh insights fleshed out with examples drawn from politics, literature, therapy sessions and the news. He ties the personal context to the social diseases of mass conformity, worship of material success and overvaluation of intellect. (March)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 180 pages - 978-0-9669908-8-1
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