The main theme is stated as being ""that man, the more he gains freedom and the more he becomes an individual, has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity of love or work -- or else to seek a kind of security by such ties with the world as destroy his freedom and the integrity of his individual self."" The author then proceeds to analyze the cultural scene from mediaeval Europe, through the Reformation to the present, showing the fundamental likeness in social situations of the 15th and 16th century and today. Then as now, economic, social and religious freedom brought a sense of isolation and insecurity. Today the growth of capitalism has led to impersonality, to dulled capacity for critical thinking, only partially offset by unions (now too big in themselves) and cooperatives. Advertising and propaganda appeal to the emotions of mass man. He then proceeds to study the psychological significance of Fascism, the basic elements that provided fertile soil, the Hitler image. Finally, in the section on Freedom and Democracy he indicates how certain parallel situations maintain here, the trend towards conformity, the distortion of original thinking. In the end he pleads with us to establish freedom to rather than freedom from and thereby destroy the fundamental cause of unrest, subordinating the economic machine to human happiness. Not a book for the moment only, but a sound psychological approach to a world problem.