The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point

The Pursuit of Loneliness American Culture at the Breaking Point In a classic indictment of American individualism and isolationism Philip Slater analyzes the great ills of modern society violence competitiveness inequality and the national addiction to technol

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  • Title: The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point
  • Author: Philip Slater Todd Gitlin
  • ISBN: 9780807042014
  • Page: 383
  • Format: Paperback
  • In a classic indictment of American individualism and isolationism, Philip Slater analyzes the great ills of modern society violence, competitiveness, inequality, and the national addiction to technology.

    One thought on “The Pursuit of Loneliness: American Culture at the Breaking Point”

    1. This is a really great diagnosis of a historical moment, but it's still applicable today. So man of the problems that Slater describes remain endemic: the bullshit libertarian ideal, the failings of child-rearing technique, the rough transition from modernity to postmodernity, the Oedipal apparatus of American society, etc. etc. Recommended for any lover of sociology, psychology, or American studies.

    2. Oh, this was just very, very good. I loved his ideas and his prose. It may sound strange, but after some of the other things I've been reading, I actually found this more uplifting. He likes people, and he sympathizes with how we got into this mess, while still being very clear about: hey, yeah, this is an enormous fucking disaster. I liked the guy.

    3. Even though this was written in 1970, sadly enough the social commentary is as applicable today. This book does a great job of dissecting the American psyche and pointing out what needs to change for us to survive as a viable community. While some of the examples are a bit dated (there's a lengthy discussion of the Vietnam war and frequent unironic use of the term Hippie), the commentary is no less relevant, considering we are still entering into these wars with the absurd notion that we are doi [...]

    4. This book, first published in 1970 and updated in 1976, provides an interpretation of the sweeping cultural changes which visited American culture beginning in the 1960s and forever altered attitudes towards work, family, women, cities, and American history. It’s an academic literary document which critiques the American character and offers a few suggestions for reform which would broaden and deepen happiness throughout society.Philip Slater begins by contrasting individualism, which he point [...]

    5. Excellent diagnosis of the country's malignancies, including our ultra-violence, and, published in 1970, predictive of the powerful conservative backlash. Much of it rests on the purposely generated myth of scarcity, which keeps our noses to the grindstone, and our ever competition-based and market driven status anxiety keeping us focused on ourselves rather than even the idea of community. Everyone should read it, and I have the feeling that everyone in politics probably HAS read it and kept it [...]

    6. In the wake of the relative success of this book (in a year - 1970 - which was riddled with this kind of state-of-the-species musing), Philip Slater decided to turn his back on academia and live a simpler life. These days academics are being assisted externally (via their wages) in achieving a simpler life, but at the time the tenured academic lived pretty darn well. The reason, once you've reached the end of this still rather eye-opening book is pretty clear: Slater saw where we were all headed [...]

    7. Quite possibly the best book I have ever read. The introduction grabbed me and I didn't put it down until I finished.

    8. طلبت الكتاب من المكتبة مبدئيا، لدي خواطر بخصوص المجتمعات المتحضرة التي أصبحت تميل نحو الفردية،individualism وهي أن هناك ثمن يدفعه بعض الأفراد عندما تحررهم من نفوذ المجموعة: الوحدةنحن في عصر تزداد فيه وسائل الاتصال الاجتماعي، ولكن بعضنا يسقط في حفرة الوحدة. لدينا تليفون، فيس بوك، [...]

    9. there's a lot of good stuff in here that is still relevant today (some parts more than others though). u.s. society makes for some really lonely, frustrated, violent people, and our individualistic attempts to address these issues often lead to more frustration. his critique of consumerism is not exactly earth shattering, but an important reminder nonetheless. it's definitely wise to ask who shapes our desires and who benefits from our attempts to satisfy them and if there's healthier ways to go [...]

    10. I was confused sometimes with Slater's tightly wound language. There were some snaky paragraphs and sentences that should have been re-written for clarity's sake, leaving ponderous points fairly missed. (I have the original 1970 publication) However, I mostly enjoyed the read. And I really enjoyed the sentiment. Despite the Viet Nam era spacetime, this book has got me thinking about how I can make changes in my life to regain intimacy with myself, my fellow man, and love for may community and my [...]

    11. This book has some great cultural and political commentary. With some passages I found myself nodding in agreement. This book illustrates why, in 1982, Philip Slater was chosen by Ms. Magazine as a "male hero".

    12. Although the wars and technology have changed, this is rematkably current and astute for a 40 year old book. Worth a read, worth a buy.

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