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The Road to Malpsychia: Humanistic Psychology and Our Discontents [Paperback]

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Item Number 282334  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   309
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.02" Height: 0.94"
Weight:   1.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 25, 2003
Publisher   Encounter Books
ISBN  1893554791  
EAN  9781893554795  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Joyce Milton's fascinating narrative begins in the early 1960s with psychologist Abraham Maslow's prediction that psychologists would soon seize control of values from religion and be able to create an ideal society made up of "self-actualized men and women." Maslow became the prophet of the new humanistic psychology movement. Its leading practitioner was Carl Rogers, the California human potential guru who used encounter groups to teach people to get in touch with the dark impulses of their "true selves." And the marketer-in-chief was Harvard's Timothy Leary, who saw LSD as a tool for helping in the task of deconstructing the "Judeo-Calvinist" worldview. The Road to Malpsychia gives us intriguing portraits of these patriarchs of the new secular order. Milton also shows what happened when Maslow disciples Abbie Hoffman and Betty Friedan applied Maslow's teachings to political activism and feminism, and when educators too eagerly adopted the principle that children must develop "intrinsic knowledge," free from authoritarian influences and the tyranny of facts. Impatient with human limitations, anxious to put the self at the center of the universe, the humanistic movement was momentarily triumphant. But instead of becoming, in Maslow's phrase, "fully human," the questing selves built a culture of narcissism; the new values were revealed as cliches in disguise; and the new gospel of self-esteem devolved into psychobabble. The Road to Malpsychia charts the rise and fall of one of the most significant cultural movements of our time. It is a story filled with character and anecdote and also with daunting implications for the secular souls left stranded by the failure of what Maslow once called "the religion of human nature."

Publishers Description
Gives portraits of the patriarchs of the new secular order - Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Timothy Leary. This book charts the rise and fall of one of the most significant cultural movements of our time.

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More About Joyce Milton

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joyce Milton has written several books for Penguin Young Readers, including Bats and Pocahontas: An American Princess.

Joyce Milton currently resides in Brooklyn, in the state of New York.

Joyce Milton has published or released items in the following series...
  1. All Aboard Reading: Level 2
  2. Penguin Young Readers: Level 4
  3. Step Into Reading
  4. Step Into Reading - Level 2 - Quality
  5. Step Into Reading - Level 3 - Quality
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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General   [10909  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > History   [147  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > General   [10703  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Get a better understanding of the society in which we live.  Oct 19, 2006
How many of us had to go through "Diversity Training" or "DARE" or other groups and didn't feel quite right about it?

Everyone should read this book. It connects a lot of dots. The people discussed in this book may not be known by everyone, but everyone feels the effects of their ideas. Just knowing the origins of some of the revolutionary cultural influences in our society may be enough to somewhat innoculate you from the effects.

Poorly written term paper  Dec 21, 2005
This neoconservative attack on psychology is no better written or researched than the average term paper. The author simply summarizies bits from other books and adds her cynical, hateful comments. She especially loves to find negative gossip about the great psychologists, as if they should have been perfect human beings. Do we really need to suffer through another Republican screed against psychology? This is an addition to the sub-genre of books by authors who hate the idea that psychlogists actually try to help people. How dare they? Don't they know that all the answers are in the bible? Does the author even understand that the psychologists she throws mud at actually promoted personal responsibility and social interest? She seems to have started her research in the library with a hatred of psychologists (who, after all, were only trying to find ways to help people) and only paid attention to whatever bits of misguided criticism she could find. Then she paraphrased other people's criticisms and called it a book. It's actually a pathography, a relentless focus on the negative. If that's how you want to spend your time, feel free. I regret wasting my time on it.
Wondering who hurt joyce milton?  Jul 4, 2005
This is a very angry and hurtful book. It is both biased and gossipy. We were interested in reading the book because we believe that there is value in building each other up as people and would like to understand the difficulties that come with attempting to change the way we look at ourselves. The world is full of hurt and anger and we find it quite ironic that Joyce Milton would would write such a scathing angry mean spirited book about those who attempted to elevate humanity; whatever the outcome of those attempts.

If you want a non-biased account of the greatness and the faults associated with this movement and its theories then you should not invest you time and energy into this book. If you have already spawned an anger and judgment of human potential psychology then again there is no point to read this book, it is just more of the same. You have already made a judgment and the author does not offer anything tangible since she does not give supporting documentation for very harsh accusations she makes of peoples lives.

A flawed but important work  Nov 22, 2003
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 there is a lot that belongs but is not in it (many of the lesser lights of the T-group movement, for example). It's very gossipy ways that will offend even those with a prurient interest. Much of what the author claims is not documented. And so forth. But with all that, I found it a valuable book. Its overall story is valuable and persuasive. The T-groups, the Encounter movement, EST, the Esalen crowd, they are all shown for what they are, and convincingly so. The "humanistic psychology" movement was ( is ?) deplorable and a bit of a menace, and Joyce Milton, with all the faults of this book, has shown how and why this is so.
Perhaps an equally strong indictment of Rush Limbaugh?  Oct 22, 2003
Having basically grown up in the context of this movement, studied it, I think I am qualified to talk about it. The movement has and had excesses. It also has a lot of twisting and BS that has nothing at all to do with what the founders did, said or thought. That is most of what Joyce attacks.

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.


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