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Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion Paperback – Sep 15 1989

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone; 1 edition (Sept. 15 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671675230
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671675233
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,737 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Library Journal

Revised from the 1983 edition, this update includes new material on highway anger and violence in sports, young women's anger, and strategies for getting through specific anger problems, chronic anger, family anger, etc. Still "recommended for most popular collections" ( LJ 1/1/83). BOMC and Quality Paperback alternate selections; serialized in Psychology Today and Reader's Digest. -- MR
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Los Angeles Times Witty, provocative, and impressively documented, this work lights a candle in cursed darkness.

Dr. Ashley Montagu author of The Nature of Human Aggression This book is not only the best of its kind ever written, but the most helpfully enlightening I have ever read.

The New York Times Intelligent and witty, Tavris shows us how to use the anger of hope to avoid falling into the anger of despair.

Philadelphia Inquirer Enlightening and reassuring. Her calm approach to a volatile subject is a welcome tonic for our times.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I can't say this about very many things or about very many events: this book changed my life. I have to give this book the highest rating because I am not the same person that I was in 1996 when I started reading this book. The changes that I made in my life were not all wrapped around this text, but some of my belief systems were. I referred to the book the same way a person might recall and recite a favorite Bible passage. The area of the book that helped me the most is where Carol describes how the rehashing of painful memories, again and again, and over many year's time, is so damaging. Carol brings up research to show that a primary difference between people who struggle with depression and people who do not is that people with depression are able to vividly and descriptively recount painful memories, no matter how many years have passed, while people who are better adjusted find it difficult to recall such details and relevant information. The person with depression and anger recounts, memorizes, and visualizes horrible events again and again, never seeing the need to let go. The seething and the feelings of betrayal never rest. This person lives out his or her pain on an ongoing basis. The healthier individual survives, learning as he or she goes, but does not feed the anguish. This person moves forward. When I read this information and other information that this book had to offer, I saw myself. I could see that the damage I felt was not what other people had done to me, it was what I had allowed those people to do to me after the fact. In 1996, I had already been moving into the FORGIVENESS mode. Carol's book helped me to move into the ACCEPTANCE mode. It was another step in becoming the person that I needed to be.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
It has been sixteen years since Carol Tavris first published this book, and she deserves credit for focusing attention on the terrific confusion in American society surrounding the phenomenon of anger. Dr. Tavris draws on her training and expertise as a social psychologist (not a clinical psychologist or psychotherapist) to presumably enhance the reader's understanding of anger: that undeniably most misunderstood human emotion. In so doing, she attempts to debunk some common assumptions about anger, e.g., that frustration causes anger. But in making her argument against the classic "frustration-aggression hypothesis," Tavris is guilty of cause-and-effect reasoning of the most simplistic, mechanistic and concrete kind. While frustration surely does not always lead to anger in the form of a reflexively automatic, knee-jerk response, and certainly not to aggressive or violent behavior, Tavris ignores the fact that different individuals have learned different ways! of dealing with frustration and anger-- which could explain some of the inconsistencies she finds in the research upon which this theory is based. For example, people who, feeling frustrated, crave ice-cream or head to the nearest multiplex may well feel angry about being frustrated, but be unaware of it; that is to say, they might be unconscious of their anger. The proper inquiry thus turns to how that specific person deals with feelings of frustration and anger--i.e., consciously or unconsciously--instead of whether frustration automatically "causes" anger, or, for that matter, whether anger "causes" aggressive behavior.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I have not written a book ! am not a psychologist or psychoanalyst ! and I am often a very angry person (wife and mother especially and Ms Travis has insight about this kind of problems). I went through therapy thinking I was going to discover some awful thing that had happened in my past but could not uncover anything and I have to come to terms with what is only MY problem eventually. It did make me a more open and dynamic person though and this experience for me was quite well explained by Carol Tavris` book.
I think the angry reviews in part misunderstand what she wrote. It is not true that she "ignores the fact that different individuals have learned different ways! of dealing with frustration and anger" as the writer of another book on the subject puts it. She quite acknowledges that. She also thinks anger is useful in certain ways.
Please read or re-read her book. It is refreshing, full of humor and yes she has some reason to criticize the ALLMIGHTY UNCONSCIOUS that unconscious shrinks interpret as they wish. Good thing that the unconscious cannot talk back !!!
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Tavris has based this book on serious research on the subject of anger. She debunks many of the pop myths about the purpose of anger and helps the reader to understand the causes of expressed anger. Her central point is that anger is a self-reinforcing mechanism that does not have healthy outcomes in itself. She explains the physiological purpose and effects of anger, pointing out that we really don't need to be angry in our lives.

Instead she suggests various models and techniques to help understand what "sets us off" and how to manage anger. A number of situations are covered and illustrated by personal and clinical examples.

This is not a prescription for a quick fix for quick tempers - while Dr. Tavris is sympathetic about the many reasons why we get angry, she avoids simplistic behavioral techniques as well as overly introspective ones
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