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Thinking in the Shadow of Feelings: A New Understanding of the Hidden Forces That Shape Individuals and Societies Paperback – July 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone Books (July 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671682660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671682668
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #932,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bar-Levav diagnoses the vast majority of adults as physically grown-up children of greatly varying emotional ages. He demonstrates that people's actions are swayed by irrational fears of being abandoned, engulfed or destroyed, even as we pretend to be rational beings. Most of us, he argues, suffer long-term depression sustained by a deep sense of failure and futility. The author, a psychotherapist and an editor of the journal Voices, offers many fresh insights, but his attempt to link his broad theory of human behavior to social and political problems is simplistic. For example, one questions his view that people with an ill-defined sense of self tend to support liberal causes, or his belief that fear of being hurt or destroyed underlies a homosexual orientation. Crammed into this study are warnings against overpopulation, an analysis of romantic love as aggressive, tips on parenting and a defense of "sensible selfishness." Psychology Today Book Club alternate.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Bar-Levav maintains that we humans are not the rational beings we think we are; our feelingswhich, unfortunately, do not reflect reality wellliterally determine the way we live our lives. This view of human nature both arises from and is the basis for Bar-Levav's clinical work as a psychiatrist. His focus is on the feelingsespecially fear, but also love, hate, anger, hurt, sadness, and happinessrooted in the earliest life experiencesthat is, from the womb. He presents his theory as comprehensive, explaining not only the lives of individuals but also what happens in society as a whole. Well written, interesting, and challenging; recommended for larger collections. John Moryl, Yeshiva Univ. Lib., New York
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is one that must be read slowly and thought about each step of the way. It is not difficult. A sensitive 6th grader can understand it. But an intellectualizing Ph.D may be too thick-headed to see the personal and societal implications of this work. It is a completely different understanding of what motivates humankind. Its range of application is from emotional illness to societal disputes. I cannot believe that this book is out of print, except that it is ahead of its time.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mark S. Devenow Esq. on July 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Reuven Bar-Levav was , in addition to being the most distinguished , dedicated and accomplished healer in the history of medical psychiatry , a leading theoretician of human motivation and the effects of human motivation on the character and disposition of societies. Thinking in the Shadow of Feelings , Dr. Bar-Levav's first book , is an astounding heuristic accomplishment linking the implications of the seven basic human emotions on a grand scale to a unified theory of human behavior ; a theory encompassing the broader constructs and effects of human political and social organization throughout modern history. It stands as capstone to Dr. Bar-Levav's legacy , a coda to what a difference one man made in the lives of countless individuals in the course of his profesional practice.
Fear - Anger-Hurt-Hate-Happiness-Sadness-Love the prime matter of human motivation are the building blocks of Dr. Bar-Levav's thesis. These basic components of human motivation are offset starkly against the human capacity to reason as a touchstone in the analysis of man's historic struggle for self possession and attainable satisfaction and fulfillment.
Thus it is that Dr. Bar-Levav takes us along the path of tension between the elements of human emotion and the human capacity for reasoning ; a sometimes harrowing , sometimes poignant , always riveting journey which perforce entreats the reader to examine the state of his/her own mental capacities and functioning abilities ( and the critical limitations thereof ) in ways which are , at once , eye-opening and life expanding. And in ways which relate the same tension and what dilemmas are posed with it to the disposition of social and political forces both at large and within history.
Dr.
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Format: Hardcover
Bar-Levav beautifully writes an informative and fresh look at the human condition, what shapes individuals, and how these baser impulses drive and shape social, political, and personal change. I am a skeptic when it comes to these types of materials, but this book blew me away. Analytical, thorough, and very well written, the book studies fear, how it drives virtually everything we do or don't do, and how many people delude themselves into staying "boys and girls" for their entire lives. A very fresh look at psychology. Well worth the money. Highly recommended.
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By "fothergillagardenii1" on March 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Mercy me, Dr. Bar-Levav; I had no idea we humans were such a contemptible lot! How far we have to go before we can live up the the rigid ideals of your orthodox Freudianism! Seriously, folks, this book might be useful to someone looking for historical perspective on the old, macho psychotherapy that blamed everything on the patient or the patient's Mommy, and did so little good for anyone. Don't recommend it otherwise. If you want some perspective on Dr. Bar-Levav, find a copy of "The Power Tactics of Jesus Christ" by disillusioned psychotherapist Jack Haley - ignore the title essay and read "The Art of Psychotherapy." If you came here looking for self-help, you'll find more relief in "Taming Your Gremlin" by Richard D. Carson - much shorter, much simpler, much more practical, and MUCH, MUCH less judgemental. ...
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