Books by Morris Berman

The Man without Qualities by Morris Berman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2016

"n imaginative but unconvincing satire about presidential candidates."
A satirical novel tells the story of a man whose modest social experiment becomes a major political movement. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: April 11, 2006

"There's no room for comfort in Berman's critique: If he's right, we're doomed. Hope he's wrong, then, but by all means consider his provocative argument."
A resounding, if sometimes overwrought, indictment of all that is wrong with American culture, from arrogance to xenophobia and all points between. Read full book review >
NON-FICTION
Released: Feb. 1, 2000

"Berman lets it loose to humble authority and hierarchy. (illustrations, not seen)"
Promising, vivid speculations on the evolution of mental states and varieties of consciousness from Berman (Coming to Our Read full book review >

A wildly ambitious attempt by the author of The Reenchantment of the World (1981) to reinterpret the entire history of the West through an analysis of the split between mind and body, and the consequent attempts to heal or hide from it. While characterizing consciousness as "fully embodied," Berman blames an early shift from kinesthetic to visual awareness for "the basic fault" in our natures and as the source of untold torment and turmoil. Pointing to heresy as the pivotal countercultural current, a "skeleton key to the whole Western reality system," he launches into a rereading of Christianity, the Cathars, science, and Fascism—illustrating, he says, four categories of "gnostic response" present in all heretical movements. As he careens through the tangled undergrowth of our individual psychologies and the collective psyche, Berman raises more questions than he clears. He names one fault, but describes many—between mind and body, human and animal, Self and Other, male and female—and compounds the difficulties by adopting psychologist Robert Masters' concept that we have not one body but five (finding it more accessible than the seven often described in traditional religious thought). He enthusiastically cites dozens of other thinkers—psychologists, novelists, historians, mystics, sociologists: everyone from Descartes to Rajneesh. Along the way he mixes scholarship with slang, analysis with zeal. There's more good intent than execution here, but Berman's to be applauded for gathering much provocative material and raising important questions about it. Read full book review >