Erich Fromm was a German psychoanalyst, social philosopher, and writer who is widely recognized as one of the most original and influential thinkers of the 20th century. Born in Frankfurt in 1900, Fromm was raised in an Orthodox Jewish family and went on to study at the universities of Frankfurt and Heidelberg, where he earned his Ph.D. in sociology in 1922.
Fromm's early work focused on the study of individual and social behavior, and he soon became known for his insightful writings on the psychology of love and the human need for connection and meaning. His groundbreaking book "Escape from Freedom" (1941) explored the psychological origins of totalitarianism and the ways in which people are often more willing to relinquish their freedom than to assume the responsibility that comes with it.
Throughout his career, Fromm remained committed to the idea that social changes must be accompanied by personal transformation, and he believed that individuals must strive to create their own meaning in life in order to achieve true happiness and fulfillment. He argued that modern society often encourages us to become alienated from ourselves and others, but that we can overcome this alienation through acts of love, creativity, and social engagement.
Fromm's many books include "The Art of Loving" (1956), which remains a classic of modern psychology, as well as "Man for Himself" (1947), "The Sane Society" (1955), and "To Have or To Be?" (1976). He also played a prominent role in the civil rights movement and was a vocal critic of American foreign policy during the Vietnam War.
Despite his many achievements, Fromm remained humble and committed to his ideals throughout his life. His deep insights into the human psyche and his passionate advocacy for social justice continue to inspire and challenge us today.
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