In a world in which violence in every form seems to be increasing, Erich Fromm has treated this problem with deep perception in the most original and far-reaching work of his brilliant career. Fromm asks: what is there in the conditions of human existence to lead man to the orgies of destruction and violence in which he has indulged? By drawing on the findings of anthropology, palaeontogy, psychology and history; and including striking character analyses of Stalin, Hitler and Himmler, he shows how the failure to use our capacity for love and reason results in the development of the reverse: we wish to control life absolutely, or to destroy it.
Born in Frankfurt in 1900, Erich Fromm was educated at Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Munich, and the Berlin Institute of Psychoanalysis. He held various university appointments before becoming Professor of Psychiatry at New York in 1962. He retired to Muralto in Switzerland, where he died in 1980. Dr Fromm's books have been translated into many languages and among the best known are Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself, The Forgotten Language, The Sane Society, The Art of Loving, You Shall be as Gods, The Crisis of Psychoanalysis and To Have or To Be?