Civilization and Its Discontents

Civilization and Its Discontents

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Norton Pub
Freud’s seminal volume of twentieth-century cultural thought grounded in psychoanalytic theory, now with a new introduction by Christopher Hitchens.
Written in the decade before Freud’s death, Civilization and Its Discontents may be his most famous and most brilliant work. It has been praised, dissected, lambasted, interpreted, and reinterpreted. Originally published in 1930, it seeks to answer several questions fundamental to human society and its organization: What influences led to the creation of civilization? Why and how did it come to be? What determines civilization’s trajectory? Freud’s theories on the effect of the knowledge of death on human existence and the birth of art are central to his work. Of the various English translations of Freud’s major works to appear in his lifetime, only Norton’s Standard Edition, under the general editorship of James Strachey, was authorized by Freud himself. This new edition includes both an introduction by the renowned cultural critic and writer Christopher Hitchens as well as Peter Gay’s classic biographical note on Freud.

Book News
This reprint of Strachey's 1961 translation features the full text of Freud's classic, with an introduction by Christopher Hitchens and a brief biography of Freud by Peter Gay. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton & Company, c2010
ISBN: 9780393304510
Characteristics: 186 p. ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Strachey, James

Related Resources


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

this is the book freud wrote in which he introduces his concept of 'death instinct.' apparently he had some problems with his original system, making every concept fit together, so he came up with the putative ' instinct,' to balance his original theory.wilhelm reich, for one, had major disagreements with it; and carl gustav jung; and former secretary to meetings, otto rank, later to write profound books of his own, and later still, to become anais nin's analyst, in new York city.

Jul 19, 2015

This is an amazing book and I enjoy reading it very much. I selected it because I had read first Freud's "The Future of Illusion" Has I said about that book this book is very difficult to read only very advanced readers should try to read it. It is very hard to follow and understand even for me. Also this book was written in 1929 and the scientific references in it are completely out of date. I would not recommend it for use in a High School or junior college report. The short biography by Peter Gray at the beginning of the book is excellent and would be perfect for use in a high school level report about the life of Sigmund Freud.

Feb 06, 2009

If you like psychoanalysis, this book is for you! It's one of the best known essay Freud wrote. A good read.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SSFPL

To Top