Erich Fromm (1900-1980) is known to most readers as the author of the international bestseller The Art of Loving (1956). What may be less widely known is that Fromm was a social psychoanalyst whose psychoanalytic theories, developed around a humanistic concept of man and society, have had a profound impact on many fields and disciplines: on social life and societal organization, on politics, on religion, on psychotherapy and, last but not least, on the practice of mindfulness.
Rainer Funk was Erich Fromm’s last assistant. He wrote his dissertation about Fromm, was designated by Fromm's last will to be his sole literary executor, and is the editor of Fromm's writings. From his very intimate knowledge of Fromm's life and ideas, and his access to an archive that includes 6,000 letters, Funk introduces Fromm's central concepts and examines them in relation to Fromm's lived experiences and to his idea that life itself is an art.
The question of "the art of living" runs through all of the chapters, from the Introduction, in which Funk describes meeting Fromm for the first time in 1972, to the last chapter, in which Funk reflects on the impact of Fromm's social-psychoanalytic writings and his efforts to live well.