CHRISTOPHER LASCH THE MINIMAL SELF PDF

He was, in my still to be formed mind, a synthesizer of all the social thought that mattered. From psychology to politics, from technology to sociology, he seemed to have assimilated everything that was known about modern society and he re-formulated that knowledge with astounding skill, grace and judgment. Even so, reading him now after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I The Problem With Survival Christopher Lasch was an intellectual hero of my youth. Even so, reading him now after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I overestimated my ability to understand its implications.

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He was, in my still to be formed mind, a synthesizer of all the social thought that mattered. From psychology to politics, from technology to sociology, he seemed to have assimilated everything that was known about modern society and he re-formulated that knowledge with astounding skill, grace and judgment.

Even so, reading him now after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I The Problem With Survival Christopher Lasch was an intellectual hero of my youth. Even so, reading him now after half a century, I find that I probably underestimated his thinking as much as I overestimated my ability to understand its implications.

Greed was good. Communism was bad. Reagonomics reigned. And Americans were paranoid - certainly not for the first time but in a manner that was signally more desperate after their defeat in Vietnam, in the midst of profound economic woes and racial tension, and with a general feeling of being unable to control their lives. In a word, used by Lasch, the country was beleaguered.

Like the Boers in South Africa, Americans hunkered down. Its fear of what it might become in a future over which its influence was questionable had a dramatic change on its politics that few but Lasch noticed: an obsession with survival. It is inevitable that one encounters Trump in this description of the emerging personality of America. It undermines their confidence in their capacity to understand and shape the world and to provide for their own needs.

The Trumpians are indeed driven by a passion. But this passion is not directed to anything in particular, not even the improvement of their own economic or political status much less that of the nation. It refers to a self threatened with disintegration and by a sense of inner emptiness.

To avoid confusion, what I have called the culture of narcissism might better be characterized, at least for the moment, as a culture of survivalism. Many parts of Lasch read like they were written yesterday not decades ago. He is sage in a manner that seems to have been largely lost among more recent social critics.

I find him inspirational as well as astute. One could do worse, therefore, than to revisit Lasch and his frightenly prescient work today. I intend to, and recommend him highly to others.

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Christopher Lasch Is Dead at 61; Wrote About America's Malaise

Biography[ edit ] Born on June 1, , in Omaha , Nebraska , Christopher Lasch came from a highly political family rooted in the left. Louis he won a Pulitzer prize for editorials criticizing the Vietnam War. He taught at the University of Iowa and then was a professor of history at the University of Rochester from until his death from cancer in Lasch also took a conspicuous public role.

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THE MINIMAL SELF: Psychic Survival in Troubled Times

To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them. Occasionally the digitization process introduces transcription errors or other problems; we are continuing to work to improve these archived versions. Christopher Lasch, the author of "The Culture of Narcissism," "The Minimal Self" and other theoretical works on modern culture, died yesterday at his home in Pittsford, N. He was

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Christopher Lasch

There is much to admire in the work of Christopher Lasch. He has constructed wonderfully exact criticisms of the presumptions and intrusions of those agencies of social control which are called, in the current jargon, the human services. A man of the Left, Lasch has distanced himself from many of the follies of the contemporary Left. He has, for instance, defended the family against its present-day detractors and he has ridiculed assaults on high culture and rational inquiry. Such heterodoxies have made him frequently the object of those venomous and unrestrained attacks which the Left reserves for its wayward own. Moreover, he is—and today these virtues can no longer be taken for granted—an intellectually honest writer of marked civility. What distinguishes Lasch from others who have used psychoanalysis to inform their social analysis and criticism is that he has not relied on those psychoanalytic thinkers, such as Reich, Fromm, and Freud himself, whose work incorporates a social theory.

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Minimal Self

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