In the book, Seven Types of Atheism, author John Gray attempts to give an account of the foolishness of various flavors of atheism throughout the ages. Gray is disheartened by the latest flavor atheism of the “new atheists”. Gray shows how the beliefs that the “new atheist” cling to are really just repacked versions of Christianity – only the belief is not in Christ as diety but in the divinity of science or humanity itself.
My Madness Saved Me: The Madness and Marriage of Virginia Woolf, is a retrospective psychoanalysis of the life and death of Virginia Woolf by the iconoclastic psychiatrist Thomas Szasz. Szasz presents his views on Virginia Woolf’s life and suicide as a counterbalance to the prevailing view that she was a genius writer tormented by mental illness. In contrast, Szasz maintains that: “Persons have reasons for their actions, regardless of whether they are said to have or not have mental diseases.”1 It is from this vantage point that Szasz analyses the life and death of Woolf.
In a rare psychoanalytic case history, Thomas Szasz presents Recollections of a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy: The Case of “Prisoner ‘K'”. In it, Szasz gives us an opportunity to see how he actually practiced psychotherapy.
The book, The Happiness Project, is written by a student of Thomas Szasz, Ron Leifer. I was disappointed in this book. I was interested in the work of Ron Leifer because he studied under Thomas Szasz. I thought that perhaps Ron could offer some insights into the human condition. What I found were some poorly constructed, trite thoughts about about human nature.
I came across an incredible children’s book called, What Do You Do With A Problem. I found it to be one of the best explanations of the existential approach to problems in life. The story touches on some existential themes such as anxiety, depression, isolation, freedom, and responsibility.
The book, Existential Therapy: Distinctive Features by Emmy van Deurzen is a good reminder to view each person as a free individual, responsible for their life. But, on another level, the is a book about how to push a particular set of belief on another person.