The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness

Submitted on Mar 20, 2009, 3:57 a.m.

I figured it was about time I blogged about this book (following on from Hans Rosling’s superb TED lecture - below).

A few years ago a friend recommend a book by Erich Fromm called ‘The Heart of Man’. I had trouble finding the title at the time however, in the process discovered what I believe is considered to be one of Fromm’s most famous works - ‘The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness’ – published nine years after ‘The Heart of Man’  and incorporating many of his earlier published ideas concerning human behavior and culture.

The book is written in an uncomplicated highly educational and engaging narrative that just about anyone can read. Fromm’s analysis of the instinctivism of Konrad Lorenz, to the behaviorist B.F. Skinner was eye opening.

For me the most valuable lesson in the book was his description of the primary drivers in human nature; co-operation and conflict avoidance, the desire to achieve and the desire to share. As some of the reviewers on Amazon and elsewhere have also said – this is probably the most important book I’ve ever read.

Read it – and you’ll see why.