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Escape from Evil Paperback – March 1, 1985
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About the Author
After receiving a Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Syracuse University, Dr. Ernest Becker (1924-1974) taught at the University of California at Berkeley, San Francisco State College, and Simon Fraser University, Canada. He is survived by his wife, Marie, and a foundation that bears his name -- The Ernest Becker Foundation.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Since men must now hold for dear life onto the self-transcending meanings of the society in which they live, onto the immortality symbols which guarentee them indefinite duration of some kind, a new kind of instability and anxiety are created. And this anxiety is precisely what spills over into the affairs of men. In seeking to avoid evil, man is responsible for bringing more evil into the world than organisms could ever do merely by excercising their digestive tracts. It is man's ingenuity, rather than his animal nature, that has given his fellow creatures such a bitter earthly fate (pg. 5, Becker)."
From this point, Becker attempts to define how man's ingenuity, hopes, and desires have lead to an incredible amount of trouble in the world. Becker is at once cultural analysist, religious scholar, and social psychologist. "Escape from Evil" is an amazing inquiry, exploring the frightening needs of diverse social groups, looking into the deep inner fears of man, explaining Hitler and the origin of guilt, delving into the meaning of culture and the origins of inequality. These are not small subjects and they will challenge the ideas of any reader.Read more ›
No two books have affected my beliefs and thoughts any more than have Becker's 'Escape from Evil' and 'The Denial of Death'. I read the latter in college and have since read it again on several occasions. I read 'Escape from Evil' nearly as a sequel to 'Denial of Death' and recommend it as a companion work.
I would in retrospect probably read 'Escape from Evil' before 'Denial of Death.' But to say that is of course quantum mechanics. I've already performed the experiment the results of which I've measured but whose effects have now altered my 'quantum state' of thinking. My opinion might have been the reverse had I read 'Escape...' first. C'est la vie.
So read them as you will, but please, do read them. The language is somewhat dated, his statements are at times prone to the same errors of logic that most of us are prone to and he focuses on only those authors and works that support his thesis, but it is very likely 'Escape from Evil' will crack the shell of your beliefs about your world as well as our shared world and will change the way you think, perhaps, even hopefully, for the remainder of your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
First of all would people stop giving this book 1 star based on the condition of the book they are getting, without any comment on the brilliance of this book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Great classic analysis from Ernest Becker. A must read for anyone interested in how humans have been such a deadly and destructive species.Published 13 months ago by Steve Missal
I am trying to read this book I just received. I am only into the first chapter and the pages keep coming away from the binding. Never had this happen before. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J. Nelson
I love this book. One of my favorites. Not an easy read, but very insightful.Published 18 months ago by Anwar Philson
Just read Denial Of Death by this author, it took me to a new level of understanding of the human condition. Read morePublished 21 months ago by alan vengel
Continuing with the themes developed in The Denial of Death, which dealt with the individual, Becker argues that human societies (whether hunter-gatherer tribe or modern... Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by TLR
Had to read for an Existential Psychology course. I found Becker to be boring, just my opinion. This book is far better than Denial of Death though. Read morePublished on June 20, 2013 by Tiffany P
great addition to my library. glad i purchased it. worth the read. looking forward to other additions. love to collect.Published on February 24, 2013 by Dominique Eugene