Friedman's Fables and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$5.90
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Slight dings along top edge of pages. Clean text with no markings. Item in GOOD condition with moderate shelf wear. May have bumped corners, worn edges, and/or creased cover. Ships from Amazon same day as cleared payment.. Amazon customer service and money back guarantee.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Friedman's Fables Hardcover – September 28, 1990


See all 7 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$12.73 $0.89
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook
"Please retry"
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$20.25

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 213 pages
  • Publisher: The Guilford Press; 1 edition (September 28, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898624401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898624403
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Scientific American

Ed Friedman, with humor, wisdom, and a devious mind, has created a series of fables that highlight the classic dilemmas and struggles of relationships. His characters haunt the reader long after the stories are over and inflict insight better than any formal interpretation ever could. These parables make great lessons and great reading for those caught in the web of trying to change another person or themselves.

Review

Add the quixotic touch of a rabbi to the adroit questions of a family therapist. Enough already? No. Add an Aesop-like creativity....These fables are fun and teasing, some probing, some coy, and some poignant. Wow, it's a goose! It's a read!' --Carl Whitaker, M.D.

Teaching by parable is an old and honorable tradition. Ed Friedman, beloved rabbi and noted family therapist, is a great modern master of the art. FRIEDMAN'S FABLES is a delight, of course. These stories are funny, but they are also profound, provocative, even shocking, as they present crucial truths of systemic thinking, vital lessons of family therapy and family life, and a slyly modern, hard-nosed re-evaluation of the wisdom of the ages. Friedman is using these stories to punctuate his lessons, lessons to therapists and to anyone else who expects to deal with people, lessons about human relationships, human suffering, and human integrity. One emerges with a great sense of the wisdom and humanity of Ed Friedman himself.' --Frank Pittman, M.D.

Ed Friedman, with humor, wisdom, and a devious mind, has created a series of fables that highlight the classic dilemmas and struggles of relationships. His characters haunt the reader long after the stories are over and inflict insight better than any formal interpretation ever could. These parables make great lessons and great reading for those caught in the web of trying to change another person or themselves.' --Carol Anderson, Ph.D.

I used a fable for my sermon, and you could have heard a pin drop by the end....I find the book thoroughly delightful and powerful.' --The Rev. Henry C. Galganowicz, Rector, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Weston, Connecticut


"The book had an unexpected effect. I found myself more creative in the therapy sessions that followed, almost as if I had been granted some internal form of permission to co-create a story alongside the stuck stories of so many of my clients.... The stories...had, in effect, stimulated my own story-telling ability."--AFTA Newsletter
(AFTA Newsletter 1990-09-30)

More About the Author

The late Edwin Friedman was an ordained rabbi and practicing family therapist. His ground-breaking work, Generation to Generation, exposed the emotional connections between home and work in religious, educational, therapeutic, and business systems, and has become a modern classic. A Failure of Nerve: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix, is an acclaimed work on leadership. Friedman died in 1996.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
27
4 star
8
3 star
2
2 star
2
1 star
0
See all 39 customer reviews
I encourage everyone to read it to only read one story a day.
Jeffrey D. Allen
The study guide is a great addition if you are going to use this book for group study, a lesson, or just to have for your own edification.
A. D. Oltmann
Anyone who enjoys story, metaphor, and/or parables will enjoy the wit and wisdom within the pages of Friedman's Fables.
J. A. Thorp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Israel Galindo on June 22, 2000
Format: Hardcover
More parables than fables, Friedman's genius as a storyteller in the rabbinic tradition shines through. This collection of short fables are ingenious studies of human nature from a Family Systems point of view. Though the book has many uses for teaching and therapy, its best use is pure enjoyment!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I took a leap with the idea that the fable of "The Bridge" would be a helpful teaching tool for my group of recovering alcoholics and addicts. They listened attentively to the story of the man handing a stranger the end of the rope and then jumping. Many of them could relate to the feelings of being stuck and with the moral and ethical dilemma of having to make a critical decision. I plan to use other fables from the collection after such a lively discussion. Never underestimate the abilities of people in recovery to benefit from meaningful dialogue.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Dr. G. Lilienthal on June 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Friedman's Fables are a resonant statement by a very quiet man. Ed Friedman was that quiet man. He constructed a modern use for the ancient form of allegory, first used in King Solomon's written works, to drive home difficult-to-accept truths and ethical principles, in a group setting. His "fables" are the outcome of his many years of psychoanalytic work in very large congregational groups, and in my view, are a work of genius. Each fable deals with a different aspect of the group unconscious, and facilitates a ready demonstration of the inevitable group acting out that results from the return of the repressed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Ort on December 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ed Friedman provided his readers and students with more than information about the human condition. He has given them a way to think, not just what to think. This book of fables, as the study booklet that accompanies it makes clear, is about life questions. A great deal of what one can know about life and self depends upon (a) where one stands when asking questions, and (b) the clarity and orientation of one's questions. The greatness of Ed Friedman is the clarity with which he has engaged the world. His "Generation to Generation" is a powerfully clear treatise on self and systems that has had a profound effect on thousands. I am given to understand that his daughter is arranging for editing and publishing "A Failure of Nerve" (available since 1999 only as a bound manuscript, loosely edited). Ed Friedman learned systems theory from Msurray Bowen (1913-1990), and his variant of Bowen Theory remains one of the clearest and most compelling expositions of the power of Bowen's work. "Friedman's Fables" is a testament to what can be done with Bowen when one thinks about the human condition with freedom and creativity, informed by the discipline of the most mature theory of human functioning today.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gunia VINE VOICE on August 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In the modern world, I teach in the following manner: I give a reasoned presentation of facts, concepts, and conclusions; if you are too dense to "get it," I provide illustrative stories.

In the ancient world, I teach in the following manner: I provide an illustrative story; if you're too dense to "get it," I provide a reasoned presentation of facts, concepts, and conclusions. But I will avoid giving the point; I will let you wrestle with the story for quite some time...or for the rest of your life. In the struggle, wisdom is attained.

Friedman returns to this ancient (rabbinic?) form of teaching--teaching the reader through parables. To spur thinking, cause mental anguish, and provide fodder for discussion on leadership, self, triangles, purpose, and the other elements of Bowen Family Systems theory, Friedman has created 24 fables, an interlude, and an epilogue--all intended to challenge, educate, and stick with the reader.

As with any anthology of stories, some works are better than others, but all come very close to hitting the mark and making profound points. The characters are only as developed as they need to be to make the point; in fact, the brevity and stilted nature of the fables are what give them their aesthetic charm.

Provided with "Friedman's Fables" is a discussion guide, helpful for pondering the fables solitarily or in groups. Beware, though. Also provided are the various fables' morals (or points)...for those who are too dense to "get it."
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Todd Alan Lehman on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book of parables takes the reader into the world of family systems theory in such a way that family systems becomes not just a theory but a part of one's life. With the supplemental discussion guide, it is an excellent resource for introducing the concepts and ideas of family systems to groups who have not studied or read on the subject before. All in all, an excellent book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No speciallized language required to read this book. It assumes tough, that peple are skilled in interpreting simple fables and extracting the many lessons found in each of them. The first fable "the bridge" is woth thinking obout if you have a retalive with an addiction.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Pwnicorn on October 26, 2009
Format: Pamphlet
Great questions for discussion in a classroom. Overall I wouldn't say this is a brilliant piece of literature or anything, as many of the questions it lists for discussion are rather unoriginal (i.e. you could have, and probably did, think of them on your own). It is a good use as a guide to get things rolling though. On a slightly related note, as an educator I found good use of a [...] site that has general advice and teaching techniques for getting conversations flowing efficiently amongst groups of all kinds. It may be worth taking a look at to apply some of the discussions listed in this pamphlet.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews