Culture Against Man

Culture Against Man

Jules Henry

Language: English

Pages: 511

ISBN: 0394702832

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


“One of the most telling and creative examinations of American culture and its values written in this century.” —Ashley Montagu

“Once upon a rare while a book appears that is so cogently conceived and so brilliantly executed as to command that any future work on the subject take this book seriously into account or be diminished by the failure to do so. Such is Professor Jules Henry’s analysis of contemporary America. Skillfully summoning the most trenchant theories of social and psychological organization, exhibiting a fine sense for both the uniqueness and sameness of all human societies and imaginatively employing evidence that ranges from census reports to depth interviews, Professor Henry provides us with a profound view of interconnections among American institutions, values, and character.” —Book Week, The New York Sunday Herald Tribune

“. . . the bulk of his book is superb. . . . The author goes armed with the traditional ethnographic skills of the anthropological field worker and the clinic sensitivity of a psychiatrist with a special talent for nightmare, with the controlled anger of a morally outraged man disenchanted with indignation, and a genius for phrase-making. . . . His chapters on adolescents are the most stunningly perceptive analyses of the much-scapegoated group that I have yet seen.” —The New York Times Book Review

“. . . he (the reader) will find the book as a whole a challenging personal statement by a gifted man . . . whose insight and passion he must admire. . . . The chief contribution of Culture Against Man is its relentless examination, in concrete terms, of the fears that underlie our society.” —The Saturday Review

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business for himself. The majority hopes to find security and success in positions with important national companies. The "reach for the sky" dream of American youth seems to have suffered a setback in the period since the end of V-.'orld War II. Young men would rather put their trust in management of large con­ cerns than set out on their own.1 This is self-renunciation again--only this time the American does it because he is intelligently afraid to try his hand alone. Anyone can readily

munication can afford to command the finest talent for bringing to the American people information, stimulation, entertainment and education which in other countries are available to just a very few people. Here the very techniques for which advertising has been condemned are used in order to gain public favor. First we are terrorized by being told that if advertising were to g9 away we would all starve. This is the familiar technique of "frighten 'em and snow 'em," so well known from ads for

ig6o). Dr. Kahn, the jacket says, "has been a member of the RAND Corporation [a nonprofit organization specializing in weapons systems and military strategy] since i948. During the past twelve The United States and the Soviet Union 107 ' why the Russians should not be playing the same kind of games with their computors. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has made the contemplation of greater holocausts easy. The following is an account of the RAND1 Corporation, most faJ!lous casino ·of

ig6o). Dr. Kahn, the jacket says, "has been a member of the RAND Corporation [a nonprofit organization specializing in weapons systems and military strategy] since i948. During the past twelve The United States and the Soviet Union 107 ' why the Russians should not be playing the same kind of games with their computors. The destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has made the contemplation of greater holocausts easy. The following is an account of the RAND1 Corporation, most faJ!lous casino ·of

taking care of the children-but in some cases the father is blamed for the same thing. When mother-father roles are so close, when the child 1 Fictitious name. Parents and Children 135 can expect the same thing from both of them, the ancient competi­ tion for the children between mother and father gains renewed vigor, and the competitiveness in our culture from which the family is supposed to give shelter enters through the back door. Under these circumstances, the temptation of one parent

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