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Grey, A. (1996). Escape From Narcissim: Four Posthumous Works by Fromm: A review of The Revision of Psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm, edited by Rainer Funk. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992. xiv + 149 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 32:463-480.
(1996). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 32:463-480
Escape From Narcissim: Four Posthumous Works by Fromm: A review of The Revision of Psychoanalysis by Erich Fromm, edited by Rainer Funk. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1992. xiv + 149 pp.
Review by: Alan Grey, Ph.D.
As a writer, Fromm's vigorous, assertive style is reminiscent of the expressionist painters who challenged the German art scene during his childhood. What has been said about them might also apply to Fromm's work. One critic observed, for instance, that expressionism appears “in times of spiritual and social stress, arising from angst, the anguish of the times . . . expressionist art is specifically art engagé” (Haggar, 1962p. 130). And Fromm was very much an analyst engagé. He approached the ills of twentieth-century society as he did the troubles of his patients, not only thoughtfully but actively and forthrightly.
Born in 1900 in Frankfurt, literally at the outset of the century, he earned a doctorate in sociology at Heidelberg University and went on to the Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute. The teachers who influenced those first decades of his life included distinguished academics, rabbis, political activists, and psychoanalysts like Hans Sacks and Theodore Reik. By 1933, when he came to the United States at the invitation of Karen Horney, he already was recognized as an original thinker. Many years later, in 1974, when a severe heart attack persuaded him to limit his work to writing and occasional public appearances, Fromm could look back on a peripatetic career that had taken him to many parts of Europe as well as to Mexico and the United States. He had become known not only for his