PERSON/PLANET: The Creative Disintegration of Industrial Society by Theodore Roszak

PERSON/PLANET: The Creative Disintegration of Industrial Society

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

What happened to the counter culture? Roszak has been asked that question regularly since the publication of his The Making of a Counter Culture (1969), which established his reputation as an authority on ""what's happening."" Here, Roszak argues that the counter culture is alive and reasonably well, only it is hiding behind the apparent narcissism of self-oriented cultural phenomena. Seeking to revive the Catholic-inspired critical consciousness of Personalism--associated with Mounier's journal Esprit, and linked by Roszak to Dwight MacDonald and Lewis Mumford in this country--he emphasizes the centrality of the individual's particular ""situational network."" Refusing to support existing social movements, Roszak sees in the self-help craze an effort to salvage the individual. He also draws a parallel between the reduction in the size of socio-political institutions and the restoration of the earth's ecology. Along the way he uncovers the liberatory element in nature mysticism, the family, and small-scale cities (the basis for urban culture). As usual, Roszak's enthusiasm and eclecticism keep him hopping, and his polemical approach prevents him from either seriously confronting critics or connecting up with more systematic treatments of his own themes (he totally ignores Simone Weft, for example). An earnest, if redundant, effort--the point, once established, is driven home relentlessly.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1978
ISBN: 0595297471
Publisher: Anchor/Doubleday