The politics of experience

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, Aug 12, 1983 - Political Science - 192 pages
30 Reviews
Laing attacks accepted assumptions about the nature of "normality" with a challenging view of the mental sickness built into our society.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise

User Review  - Cameron Rogers - Goodreads

RD Laing's best known work came out at a time of idealism, and "free love" when psychedelic drugs were briefly seen to possess the cure all to the woes of society. If only LBJ and Brezhnev could have ... Read full review

Review: The Politics of Experience/The Bird of Paradise

User Review  - Itisha - Goodreads

Changes and challenges your view of the world: inter-group relations, Schizophrenia, madness, and sanity. Leaves you with interesting thoughts, if you cannot be sure about a man's sanity, how can you ... Read full review


Persons and Experience
The Psychotherapeutic Experience

6 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1983)

Ronald David Laing, a prominent British psychoanalyst, won wide attention in the United States, especially among young people, for his questioning of many of the old concepts of what is "normal" and what is "insane" in a world that he sees as infinitely dangerous in the hands of "normal" people. Born and educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Laing questioned many of the basic assumptions of Western culture. Taking the role of social critic, he wrote in The Politics of Experience (1967): "A little girl of seventeen in a mental hospital told me she was terrified because the Atom Bomb was inside her. That is a delusion. The statesmen of the world who boast and threaten that they have Doomsday weapons are far more dangerous, and far more estranged from "reality' than many of the people on whom the label "psychotic' is affixed." Much of Laing's work was in the field of schizophrenia. Philosophical and humanist in approach, he questioned many of the cut-and-dried classifications for the mentally ill, whom he regarded with great compassion; he looked beyond the "case" to the man or woman trying to come to grips with life in the broadest human context. He was a compelling writer of great literary skill who brought to his studies a worldview that reached far beyond the confines of his profession. Until his death, Laing continued to expand on his early themes, which are also evident in his poetry, interviews, and conversations with children.

Bibliographic information