Civilization And Its Discontents Author:Sigmund Freud (edited by James Strachey) Civilization And Its Discontents is one of the last of Freud's books, written in the decade before his death. In it he makes known his views on the broad question of man's place in the world, which he sees in terms of the never-ending conflict of the claim of the individual for freedom and the demands of society. — Writing of the book The Spectat... more »or says: "The theme is a very simple one which has often been foreshadowed in Freud's earlier work. Civilization is only made possible by individual renouncement. The instinctive life of man is one of aggression and egotistic self-satisfaction. The whole structure of culture has been designed to put prohibitions and curbs on him... The sense of guilt has become the maker of civilized humanity... The theme is developed with the greatest richness of content and one might use many columns without exhausting the invaluable dicta of men and their institutions which strew the book."« less
I was doing some research/course work and this book was cited for having certain viewpoints pertinent to the subject I was studying. At his best Freud is difficult to understand because of all his psychobabble jargon and invented words. Since this is a translation from German the clarity is further obscured. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist so the terms thrown about evade me without annoying referral to several dictionaries or websites. At heart Freud is an academician who intentionally writes in a manner so as to keep the laymen in awe of his genius. I do not find this useful to understanding. When all is said, I had to go to other sources to find out what Freud's positions and opinions are. I have neither the time nor patience to plow through his laborious prose and arcane vocabulary. My recommendation is that if you want to read the "master's words" then this might be the book for you. But, be prepared to struggle a bit and be annoyed a lot. I'm not impressed by his psychological insights nor his ability to communicate them.