- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Harper; New title edition (4 October 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0007155395
- ISBN-13: 978-0007155392
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Going Sane: Maps of Happiness Hardcover – Import, 4 Oct 2005
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Hoping to break through our cultural fascination with madness, Phillips summons his readers to the neglected tasks of defining and cultivating sanity. To date, so few have thought seriously about sanity that it usually remains a bland abstraction, recognized only by its absence in the elemental and overwhelming intensity of madness. By drawing on the insights of earlier explorers of the psyche in imaginative and psychological literature, Phillips endows sanity with a truly profound meaning, one rich with the fullest of human possibilities. Only sanity, he argues, dispels the dehumanizing illusions surrounding power and wealth, so renewing the primal desires of childhood and restoring spontaneity and happiness to adulthood. Surprisingly, complete sanity depends less on clear perception of factual reality than it does on imaginative stories of kindness that shape our frankly acknowledged appetites (sexual, acquisitive, intellectual) within a deep awareness of the needs of others. Phillips thus invites his readers not to endorse a psychological orthodoxy giving sanity a fixed character but rather to embark on the unscripted adventure that gives it life. Bryce Christensen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
“Phillips has made psychoanalytic thought livelier and more poetic than ever… One of [his] finest and most broadly appealing books.” (New York Times)
“Phillips offers a detailed description of what sanity can mean today.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Beautifully written…clever and funny, and properly profound…A lovely addition to Phillips’ guides to living a happier life.” (GQ)
“Phillip’s arguments, both thought provoking and provocative, may affect future definitions of sanity and madness.” (Publishers Weekly)
As surely as vanilla is a flavor, sanity is a property, and this book delineates its parameters with considerable erudition.” (Andrew Solomon, author of THE NOONDAY DEMON, winner of the National Book Award)
“Bracing and provocative. Should be enough alone to make whole shelvesful of parenting guides self-destruct.”-- (The Observer)
“Wise and subtle. Going Sane has some superbly suggestive things to say about childhood, depression, autism and schizophrenia.”-- (Irish Times)
“Winningly articulate, enlightening but never patronising, [Adam Phillips] is a born writer…Going Sane is written with elegance and zest.” (Arena)
“Challenging and inspiring …Going Sane is an indispensable guide to what wisdom means today.” (John Gray, professor of political thought at the London School of Economics)
“Phillips is, as ever, an original and lucid spirit, a buzzing intellectual gadfly in the ointment of our easy answers.” (Daphne Merkin, author of DREAMING OF HITLER: Passions and Provocations)
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If you seek a book on sanity and its fragility which matters, read anything by Kay Redfield Jamison (starting with An Unquiet Mind).
There is little more to this book than about one "letter to the editor" worth of thesis. All the rest of this airy, repetitive, double spaced clap trap is just filling. I must assume the one good review above as of the time of my writing, was submitted by someone related to the author for there can be little else to speak in favor of it than personal affinity for it's creator.
As my major in college was in fact psychology, I think it fair to say I have read a few books on the subject. This book, far from being scolarly feels like a very long and tiresome homework assignment handed in by someone who had nothing to say but was up against a deadline.
I donate old books to the Salvation Army but I can't give this to them in good conscience knowing someone else might actually read it.
The ideas in this book provide the antidote to all the naysayers who claim that psychotherapy and the recovery and new-age movements all need to pathologize the human condition. My problem with all the critics is that they often don't offer any real solution. Phillips' book starts this discussion with an eye for the direction that psychotherapy should be heading.