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Enemies of Freedom: Understanding Right-Wing Authoritarianism (Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series) Hardcover – September 30, 1988


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From the Back Cover

This book provides important insights into the authoritarian personality, revealing why right-wing authoritarian tAndencies develop in some individuals and not in others. It also shows how a person's predisposition toward right-wing authoritariansim can be measured, and more.
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Product Details

  • Series: Jossey Bass Social and Behavioral Science Series
  • Hardcover: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (September 30, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555420974
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555420970
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 2.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,926,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Don Laird on April 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the Prize for Behavioral Science Research in 1986 and a follow-up to his first book, <Right-Wing Authoritarianism> of 1981, <Enemies of Freedom> was written out of "apprehension that there may be a vast potential for the acceptance of right-wing totalitarian rule in countries such as Canada and the United States."
An experimental scientist who writes in a very easy-to-read way, professor Altemeyer (Univ. of Manitoba) has reworked the concept of authoritarianism, removing it from the Freudian view into a research-based social learning theory.
Authoritarianism is made of up three attitudinal clusters: submission to authorities, aggressiveness directed in accordance with the sanctions of authorities, and adhering to social conventions. Authoritarianism is researched with respect to topics such as punishment, prejudice, religion, political affiliation, education, and social status.
Important questions are considered in chapters, including why a person becomes authoritarian, how their aggression develops, the influence of religion, its relation to politics, and how we can protect ourselves from authoritarianism. Authoritarian aggressiveness seems to be related to a)fear of a dangerous world and b)self righteousness. We can help protect against authoritarianism by emphasizing the value of freedom, encouraging higher education especially in the liberal arts. The media can help by its coverage of crime, and religions can help by devaluing self righteousness.
Altemeyer includes the details of how he did his research and the individual questions in his survery forms, so if readers want to go survey all their relatives and friends (in secret!) they can!
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7 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Prof. Altemeyer measured the lowest scores for right-wing authoritarian (RWA) attitudes in 1973. From what I gather he attributes the rise of RWA throughout the late 1970's and 1980's to what? Certainly Left-wing anti-war violence, and street crime were as prevelant in the late 1960's and early 1970's (if not more so!) than in the '80's. Why were student attitudes less authoritarian in the early '70's when the conventional factors causing RWA were so prevelant? Especially since Altemeyer rejects as minimal the impact of parents and the media in shaping RWA attitudes. How could the excesses of the "student-left" and high crime rates of the '60's and early '70's effect student attitudes in the late '80's who were not yet out of diapers to "experience" the chaos? I have the same questions I had when I picked up the book? I give this book 5 stars mainly because the subject is so important.
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