Erich Fromm was one of the most influential and creative public intellectuals of the twentieth century. He was a mentor to David Riesman and an inspiration for the New Left.
As the rise of global right-wing populism and Trumpism creates new interest in the kind of psycho-social writing and popular sociology that Fromm pioneered in the 1930s, this timely book tells the story of the rise, fall and contemporary revival of Fromm’s theories.
Drawing from empirical work, this is an invaluable contribution to popular debates about current politics, the sociology of ideas and the prospect of a truly global public sociology.
“McLaughlin has made an impassioned defense of public sociology, Erich Fromm, and Fromm’s status as a public sociologist. His scholarship ... is exhaustive and covers decades. His style of writing is clear and lucid, and the core arguments never get submerged by the considerable detail and exegesis. He has done a great service in emphasizing the need to reclaim Fromm as numbered among eminent public sociologists.” Symbolic Interaction
"Neil McLaughlin has reminded us of how much Fromm still has had to offer not the least of which is to rekindle hope in times of darkness that often seem hopeless." Social Forces
“This book should help rescue from reputational oblivion a great sociologist who had revealing insights into the current global crisis of democracy and narcissism.” Rainer Funk, Erich Fromm Institute Tuebingen
About the Author:
Neil McLaughlin is Professor in the Department of Sociology at McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario, Canada. In addition to have written extensively on Fromm’s critical theory, he has published widely in the sociology of ideas with case studies on Noam Chomsky, Edward Said, public sociology and public intellectuals in Canada and the United States, and on the sociology of creativity. He is currently researching the spread of Soros conspiracy theories in Hungary, Poland, the United States and Canada, the popularity of Jordan Peterson’s psychological writings and social media lectures and the politics of university funding in North America.