on March 15, 2004
If you love Branden's books, this one will not disappoint you. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand themselves better and live life to the fullest. This book is at it's heart, a practical look at human psychology, a field in which ideas that work are often undervalued. The chapters on emotions, pathological anxiety, and social metaphysics were fascinating and somewhat opinionated while providing some amazing insights into the human condition. Like all of Branden's books, it is clearly written and the author anticipates beautifully the readers questions and addresses concepts in a very understandable manner. Anytime I read a book that really teaches me something valuable, I feel compelled to recommend it.
on July 5, 2004
I don't know what I was expecting, but I really enjoyed this book. I was listening to the book on tape and tried to take notes while driving (bad idea). I thought comments such as "Self Esteem is your reputation with yourself," "A productive life is a psychological neeed," and his example of 3 men and their opinions, all valid of the same "cad" were, well, helpful to me. I recommend it to anyone who, regardless of their own self esteem issues, knows anyone dealing with anxiety or constant doubts. As I say, I enjoyed it.
on February 8, 2001
Part I consists of the philosophical concepts relevant to psychology. The central ideas, presented in their essentials, lay the foundation of Branden's approach, illustrated in Part II and all of his future work. Part II deals with the central theme of Branden's life work: self-esteem. His radical approach is in stark contrast the ideas of the time and to the self-proclaimed self-esteem proponents in recent years.
His approach is reality oriented: Branden outlines the inescapable need for self-esteem, its source in reality and the consequence of the failure to live in accord with this need. The contrast between legitimate self-esteem and counterfeit self-esteem help to clarify and define this crucial concept.
The book is, one the whole, theoretical and condensed. I am always amazed to find it shelved in the self-help section. This book should be read in conjunction with his latter works: The Disowned Self, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem and The Art of Living Consciously. The journey will be rewarding.
on April 11, 2005
It took me many readings to fully comprehend the ideas and themes of this book. Since English is not my first language, and my first having nothing to do with Latin and Greek, the author is not to blame. Actually the book is very well written, is detailed and ideas follow logically. It is very hard to sound scientific and objective in a field notorious for subjectivity; nevertheless this is, in my opinion, as objective an analysis as one can get in the field. It may seem overly philosophical and difficult reading at first (definitely not Dr.Phil's style), but once you grasp the approach, it becomes a rewarding inner journey. The book's subject matter (Self-Esteem) is of enormous importance in individual psychology, and crucial for understanding the author's other works. A must read for all, highly recommended.