Book Review: Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents

If you’ve never read Freud, start here. This is very different from his more famous works but, for me, carries more weight. I suspect this slim book will be read for many years to come. In a nutshell, it’s his verdict on humanity. Why are we the way we are? Can we change? Unlikely, it seems.

“Life, as we find it, is too hard for us; it brings us too many pains, disappointments and impossible tasks. In order to bear it we cannot dispense with palliative measures… There are perhaps three such measures: powerful deflections, which cause us to make light of our misery; substitutive satisfactions, which diminish it; and intoxicating substances, which make us insensible to it.” — Sigmund Freud (Civilization and Its Discontents)

Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents

Recommended Reading

I’m recommending these three as I’ve actually read them. In no order of preference:

Civilization and Its Discontents

Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood

Moses and Monotheism

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