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Envy Book Cover Envy
Helmut Schoeck
January 1, 1987

Envy was first published in German in 1966, then in an English translation in 1970. This classic study is one of the few books to explore extensively the many facets of envy—"a drive which lies at the core of man's life as a social being." Ranging widely over literature, philosophy, psychology, and the social sciences, Professor Schoeck—a distinguished sociologist and anthropologist—elucidates both the constructive and destructive consequences of envy in social life. Perhaps most importantly he demonstrates that not only the impetus toward a totalitarian regime but also the egalitarian impulse in democratic societies are alike in being rooted in envy.

Meticulous, careful, learned. I had long thought I needed to read this classic, and am glad I finally did. A mix of psychology, sociology, politics, anthropology, this book is dense but worth it. For pastors, there are a number of takeaway gems.

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