Civilization and Its Discontents

Civilization and Its Discontents

by

, classics, misanthropology, to-go-forward, 20th-century, groups-of-people, non-fiction, best-non-fiction, psychology-etc, zzz-own-e-book, classics, won-t-read-again, read-grad-student, 1900-1939, 20th-century, 2019, philosophy, freud, psychology, Psychology, Philosophy, Nonfiction, Classics, Sociology, History, Politics, Academic

It stands as a brilliant summary of the views on culture from a psychoanalytic perspective that he had been developing since the turn of the century. It is both witness and tribute to the late theory of mind—the so-called structural theory, with its stress on aggression, indeed the death drive, as the pitiless adversary of eros.

Civilization and Its Discontents is one of the last of Freud's books, written in the decade before his death and first published in German in 1929. In it he states his views on the broad question of man's place in the world, a place Freud defines in terms of ceaseless conflict between the individual's quest for freedom and society's demand for conformity.


Freud's theme is that what works for civilization doesn't necessarily work for man. Man, by nature aggressive and egotistical, seeks self-satisfaction. But culture inhibits his instinctual drives. The result is a pervasive and familiar guilt.


Of the various English translations of Freud's major works to appear in his lifetime, only one was authorized by Freud himself: The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud under the general editorship of James Strachey.


Freud approved the overall editorial plan, specific renderings of key words and phrases, and the addition of valuable notes, from bibliographical and explanatory. Many of the translations were done by Strachey himself; the rest were prepared under his supervision. The result was to place the Standard Edition in a position of unquestioned supremacy over all other existing versions.

Title:Civilization and Its Discontents
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780393301588
Format Type:

    Civilization and Its Discontents Reviews

  • Ahmad Sharabiani

    Das Unbehagen in der Kultur = Civilization And Its discontents, Sigmund FreudCivilization and Its Discontents is a book by Sigmund Freud. It was written in 1929 and first published in German in 1930 a...

  • C C

    This book helps explain one of life’s enduring phenomena: rage. It explains why standing behind that scruffy, ponytailed, mustachioed gentleman in the checkout lane (let’s call him “Gerard,” f...

  • Fergus

    THE MAN THAT HATH NO MUSIC IN HIMSELF,NOR IS MOVED WITH CONCORD OF SWEET SOUNDS,IS FIT FOR TREASON, STRATAGEMS AND SPOILS;THE MOTIONS OF HIS SPIRIT ARE DULL AS NIGHT,AND HIS AFFECTIONS DARK AS EREBUS....

  • Roy Lotz

    There’s something unbelievable about Freud. If he was some ancient Greek or Medieval thinker, his ideas might not seem as strange. But the man was a contemporary of Albert Einstein, John Maynard Key...

  • Corinne

    This book deftly delineates the dilemma in our civic society, where the struggle between our ethics and animal instincts continue, and the ‘prices’ we have paid in making our society safe and secu...

  • Jan-Maat

    the discrete joys of cultural pessimism This volume consists of two of Freud's essays Civilisation & its discontents (1930) and the far shorter 'Civilised' sexual morality & modern nervous illness (19...

  • Jessica

    This may come as a surprise considering how much I complain about psychotherapy, but I LOVE SIGMUND FREUD. This is not just transference, and no, he doesn't remind me at all of my father; I believe Fr...

  • Prerna

    This book was sent to its publishers right after the great crash of 1929, but of course, it was written earlier. In the coming decades of wars, economic recessions, nuclear weapons, colonialism and un...

  • Mr.

    `Civilization and its Discontents' is Freud's miniature opus. It is a superficial masterpiece that stretches further than any of his other works; he is reaching for an explanation for human nature in ...

  • jeroen

    Studying psychology I never cared much for Sigmunds insights into the human psyche and dreams. They seemed interesting from a cultural, maybe even literary or intellectual perspective -but not from a ...