Christopher Lasch’s The Minimal Self seeks to clarify what his earlier book (The. Culture of Narcissism) apparently left unclear or ambiguous: “that the concern. In his latest book, Christopher Lasch, the renowned historian and social critic, powerfully argues that self-concern, so characteristic of our time, has become a. In “The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations” (), Christopher Lasch described a sea change in the.

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These values and institutions have been undermined not by leftist opposition but by capitalists themselves, for their own purposes: Dec 10, James Andersen rated it liked it Shelves: From psychology to politics, from technology to sociology, he seemed to have assimilated everything that was known about modern society and he miinimal that knowledge with astounding skill, grace and judgment.

Lasch is not a cheery guy, but strangely, this book was laxch cheering reminder to do more than just survive from day to day. Sep 15, BlackOxford rated it it was amazing Shelves: Jean Elshtain – – Social Research 66 2.

The Minimal Self

Open Preview See a Problem? A world populated by rigid selves is a world of sublimation and its derivatives: Lasch sought to use history as a tool to awaken American society to the pervasiveness with which major institutions, public and private, were eroding the competence and independence of families and communities.

Much, perhaps most, of the left has always been convinced that industrialization, technological development, and the erosion of traditional forms of authority, are intrinsically progressive.


One could read this book and see how almost 30 Years Later, you could minikal the sense that he is writing this about contemporary society. But his critique was tentative, needing to be completed by a theory of the relations among politics, culture, and psychology.

Tom rated it liked it Chfistopher 19, Writing from his own, strong philosophical foundation, he points out contradictions, even counterproductive ideas, in modern movements for feminism, environmentalism, and peace whose goals he nevertheless shares. Lasch’s analysis of the destruction of the self is also quite apropos to the ideological complex of what is broadly denoted as “postmodernism”, and lasdh to the ethos of popular culture as a whole.

Lasch was always a critic of liberalism, and a historian of liberalism’s discontents, but over time his political perspective evolved dramatically. It is inevitable that one encounters Trump in this description of the emerging personality of America.

This is a pretense because it masks profound feelings of inadequacy: Please provide an email address. In a word, used by Lasch, the country was beleaguered. They condemn the superego and exalt the lost life of the senses.

Ralph Dumain: “The Autodidact Project”: Review: The Minimal Self

And here’s another profile of me at Times Higher Education. The examples used to illustrate sections on art, politics, and therapy were particularly good. The superego makes possible autonomy, lascb, detached rationality. What can account for this subtle but immensely significant shift?

Media reporter, reviewer, producer, guest booker, blogger. His writings during this period are considered contradictory.


The Historian as Public Moralist: Those who base the case for conservation and peace on survival not only appeal to a debased system of values, they defeat their own purpose. But he argues back that assigning a gender to psychopathology is ultimately misleading. It was era in which I went through high school and university. And Americans were paranoid – certainly not for the first time but in a manner that was signally more desperate after their defeat in Vietnam, in the midst of profound economic woes and racial tension, and with a general feeling of being unable to control their lives.

Lasch also gives a fair critique of conservative thought that seeks to turn back the clock to an authoritative view that rests on fear and respect alone. Books added to shelves without my ok. I intend to, and recommend him highly to others. In promoting mass consumption, advertisers like social-science professionals have convinced parents that their children are entitled to the best of everything but that, without expert assistance, parents are helpless to determine what that might be.

At once con s and revolutionary, it suggests that genuine democracy and te tragic view of life are not only compatible but inseparable.