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The Culture of Narcissism

American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations
Narrated by: Barry Press
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

When The Culture of Narcissism was first published, it was clear that Christopher Lasch had identified something important: what was happening to American society in the wake of the decline of the family over the last century. The book quickly became a best seller. This edition includes a new afterword, "The Culture of Narcissism Revisited."

©1979 Christopher Lasch (P)2017 Tantor
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A slow start. Brilliant climax.

The opening lacks purpose and direction but the end makes up for it. It's worth listening to.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Social Commentary

I listened to this book on recomnendation and I throughly enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book. The last part for me was marred by heavy Freudian explanations. Nevertheless there is still enough in the book to reflect on and makes a good companion to Neil Postman's 'Amusing Ourselves to Death'

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Profile Image for Rolf Hartmann
  • Rolf Hartmann
  • 31-05-19

Classic Book, should be more widely known.

This book feels more relevant today than ever before. It was massive when it came out, but it seems to have mostly faded in fame over the years. Here's to hoping this excellent recording helps revivify its notoriety.

1 person found this helpful

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  • CLHunt
  • 13-04-20

Dated

Self indulgent, dated and myopic. Class analysis is trite and applied Freudian “insight” is 🙄 annoying. Insights are skewed.

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Profile Image for Carl A. Gallozzi
  • Carl A. Gallozzi
  • 24-02-20

Analysis from the 1970's good bad and ugly.

Narcissistic personality disorder - an exaggerated feeling of self-importance, an excessing need for admiration and a lack of empathy toward other people.

Lasch's model is that Narcissistic personality disorder diffused into society from the radical political movements of the 1960's and The Spiritual cults and movements of the 1970's such as E S T.

Book has elements of a 'screed' within it - an "angry" tone - but has some timely 1979 relevant observations about the then U.S. society which was (and is) in the middle of a transition. One beginning point was the 19672 Free Speech Movement - and others which contributed to change models (Civil Rights - Women's Rights - Gay Rights) for U.S. Society - away from hierarchical (white) male dominated power models forward toward an evolving society with other recognized power centers. Lasch believes the existing male hierarchical model 'works with flaws'. This change is messy and ongoing (two steps forward 1 step back) full of fits and starts and false prophets -some of whom Lasch mocks.

Lasch "gives no quarter" to soft skills such as psychology. Lasch nearly always comes down on the side of (straight razor) justice versus...."the analyst's chair...." sometimes with a mocking and condesending tone. See West Side Story - Office Krupke lyric..."I'm depraved on account of I'm driven..." satire. Lasch has been supported by traditionalists.

We were then and are now in the middle of this change model - consumerism and other factors have produced narcissistic personality disorders in some people as Lasch mentions.

Not too much prescription concerning any solutions.

The AudioBook version I listened to also had an afterward - written in the 1980's where Lasch 'softens his tone' somewhat.

Bottom Line for me - neither as strong - nor as relevant today as other books about the U.S. Society ...."The Power Elite" by C. Wright Mills, 1956 and "The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America." By Daniel J. Boorstin.

Carl Gallozzi
cgallozzi@comcast.net

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  • Mastermutt
  • 22-06-19

A Still Timely Analysis of American Culture

A dull narration (with many errors from the original text) of a still timely social analysis of American culture today.

Christopher Lasch displays real insight into the human condition.

Do not skip the afterward as Lasch clarifies some of the main concepts in his book.

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  • Jules Henry
  • 23-12-18

good<br />book <br /><br />

ok do you have to turn on the power of the most important thing is that the eight motor place.
the only thing that you can get inside if you need to

1 person found this helpful