Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and Our Discontents Hardcover – Aug 1 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Offering vivid portrayals of the major players in the humanistic psychology movement is Joyce Milton's The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and Our Discontents. This cultural movement which sprouted from an impatience with human limitations and a desire to put the self at the center of the universe had its heyday in the 1960s. Milton (The First Partner: Hilary Rodham Clinton) writes about psychologist Abraham Maslow, the movement's prophet, and of its followers, including Carl Rogers, a Californian who instructed people to get in touch with the dark impulses of their true selves.'
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Vivid portrayals of the major players in the humanistic psychology movement."See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Fundamentally, the movement was and is about honesty. Honesty about what one is really about and why one does things. Honesty about the reality of relationships. This can be and is abused, no question about it. There are plenty of people who simply use the forms to perform their sadism, manipulations, excuse addictions, what have you.
But so is priestly authority abused. So is political authority of almost every kind. So is the demagogic authority of talk show hosts and TV preachers who take advantage of the uneasiness and fears of others for personal gain.
People are made this way, and it is part of the parcel of life.
This book is full of cheap shots at great people. Everyone has problems in their lives. Einstein was not very nice and liked the ladies. Does that invalidate his physics?
No. It doesn't. Poor scholarship, sloppy thinking, and cheap shots are the primary content of this book. It has some points worth making, but they could be made in a few pages.
The basic thought that people have a responsibility to society as well as to themselves seems to be the theme here. Or that's the underlying thread I got. Real humanism most definitely is in agreement with that.
I have no objections to her attack on idiot pop-psych. But she goes way too far and hurts her argument.
There might be valid critiques of humanistic psychology in here, but they're hard to separate from the ax-grinding. The author also wrote hatchet jobs on Hillary Clinton and Charlie Chaplin, which explains some of the vitriol. Get this for the Rush Limbaugh fans on your list - people who want a reliable history of humanistic psychology are out of luck.
Joyce Milton outlines the central tenets of her subjects by citing their disdain for the family, religion and private property. It is interesting that Hanna Arendt, in her book "the Origins of Totalitarianism", recounts these themes as ones so destructive to what has made western culture preeminent in human history. Did this all just happen by accident? No. Joshua Muravchik covers this ground well in his book "Heaven on Earth; the decline and fall of socialism".Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
It's easy enough to find fault with this book: it's poorly organized, there is a lot of material in it (on Margaret Mead and Ruth Benedict, for instance) that does not belong, and... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2003 by Werner Cohn
As a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst I have been exposed to many theories about the human mind. I have had ample opportunity to see which of these theories when applied to a given... Read morePublished on Feb. 16 2003 by William C. Beatty MD
Ms Milton admits to her anger at humanistic psychology, so she attacks without understanding. She does not seem to grasp even some of the basic concepts of the people's work she... Read morePublished on Jan. 27 2003 by Erich E. Geary
I was looking for a good history of recent psychology - this isn't it. The author's agenda is clear from the start, but the writing and research is sloppy. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2002
The humanistic psychology movement was indeed populated by intellectual mediocrities peddling dubious ideas at best. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2002 by Milantyus
The author captures very well the ambience of the '50s, '60s and '70s. She describes the extraordinary influence on American culture of such humanists as Rogers, Maslow, and Leary,... Read morePublished on Sept. 3 2002 by Anton Hardy
"In her later years Mead transformed herself into a Druid-priestess figure who invariably wore earth-toned dresses, a flowing cape and Hobbit-like shoes. Read morePublished on Aug. 29 2002
For decades, I wondered where the strange ideas were coming from. Who on earth started the first encounter group where we were told to bare our souls in front of people we... Read morePublished on July 27 2002 by Martha B. Banks