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Paul Goodman

Annotated Bibliography

     The following is a brief annotated bibliography, presented in the order the books were first published, of the key books by Paul Goodman. He wrote over forty books. A full bibliography of materials by and about him would run well past one thousand entries (see "ADAM AND HIS WORK: a Bibliography of Sources by and about Paul Goodman (1911-1972)" by Tom Nicely, Scarecrow Press '79), including many books of poetry several plays and countless stories. His fame came from his books of social criticism in the 60's. He also published literary criticism, psychology and city planning. Paul Goodman,s writing is rich, scholarly and dense. His style is poetic and contrary. His ideas are bold and well reasoned. It is not always easy reading. It is worth the effort.

     COMMUNITAS (1947, city planning) was written with his architect brother Percival Goodman. This book considers the values and human potentials of a better life, then designs a city to serve those needs. Paul Goodman was perhaps at his best interpreting and expanding on the ideas of others to produce flights of creative, liberating explosion.

     GESTALT THERAPY (1951, psychology) was written in collaboration with Fritz Perls and Robert Hefferline. This book brought Gestalt Psychology out of its academic and theoretical roots and into clinical and general practice. The ideas are based on Fritz Perls, work, but the writing is pure Paul Goodman. This is no self-help book, and neither is it an inaccessible professional manual. These powerful therapeutic methods are shared freely. They are broadly adaptable to both personal and political work, especially the chapter on Conflict and Self-Conquest.

     EMPIRE CITY (1959, novel) his literary masterpiece, written in five sections over a twenty year period. Characters struggle to achieve liberated existence in contemporary (50's) urban (New York) environment. They are not heroic, they are engaged. Near the end the main character shares his priceless formula for emotional health in a sick society: Have another ounce of strength. Go about your business. Get a handyman.

     GROWING UP ABSURD (1960, social criticism) is the book that brought fame to Paul Goodman. His subject, as he explains in the preface is ãthe disgrace of the Organized System of semi-monopolies, government, advertisers, etc., and the disaffection of the growing generation.ä

     FIVE YEARS: Thoughts During a Useless Time (1966, journal) is made of selections from Paul Goodman,s journal writings in the period before and just after he became well known. His early writing life as a struggling artist and intellectual suited him in his youth but frustrated him in his later years. Fame brought an intoxicating ego gratification and challenged his freedom to experiment in safe obscurity. He lays his fears and vunerabilities on the page along with his wide ranging observations and insights. Some are as long as two or three pages, but most entries are a few sentences or less, like: Newly rich, much garbage.

     NEW REFORMATION (1970) is a sober and systematic appraisal of science and society as the thrill of the 60's began to cool. My subject is the breakdown of belief, and the emergence of new belief in sciences and professions, education and civil legitimacy. (from the preface)

     LITTLE PRAYERS AND FINITE EXPERIENCE (1972) was Paul Goodman's last book and was published after his death. Finite Experiences is a wide ranging essay of musings similar to Five Years, perhaps even more poetic and loaded with even more desire and longing, tinged now with the inescapable knowledge (after a heart attack) of approaching death. Little Prayers is a collection of poems he wrote throughout his life relating broadly to what might be called spiritual concerns.

     COLLECTED POEMS (1973, edited by Taylor Stoehr) is a fine collection from various sources including some not published during his lifetime. Taylor Stoehr was a friend of Paul Goodman and is the literary executor of the estate.

     CREATOR SPIRIT COME! (1977, literary essays, edited by Taylor Stoehr) is another posthumously published collection. Paul Goodman considered himself a man of letters and took the art of writing very seriously. His reflections on literature open a window to the ecstatic freedom he sought and his process for getting there.

     DRAWING THE LINE: The Politcal Essays of Paul Goodman (1977, edited by Taylor Stoehr) is the best single collection of political essays by Paul Goodman, drawing on various sources from the classic May Pamphlet of 1945 to his last public speech in 1972.

     Commenting on his novel Empire City Paul Goodman wrote: I might seem to have a number of divergent interests-- community planning, psychotherapy, education, politics-- but they are all one concern: how to make it possible to grow up as a human being into a culture without losing nature. I simply refuse to acknowledge that a sensible and honorable community does not exist.

By: John Fitzgerald

More Works by Goodman

Goodman, Paul, (1968?). "The black flag of anarchism." London:
Kropotkin's Lighthouse Publications, Hit and run pamphlet series; no. 1.
On Paul Goodman:
Blankertz, Stefan. Der kritische Pragmatismus Paul Goodmans. Zur politischen
Bedeutung der Gestalttherapie. Köln : Edition Humanistische Psychologie im Internationalen Institut zur Förderung der Humanistischen Psychologie, 1988.
Ellerby, J. "The World of Paul Goodman." Anarchy. 11 (Jan, 1962):
Epstein, J. "Paul Goodman in Retrospect." Commentary. 65, 2 (Feb, 1978):
Greene, M. "Paul Goodman and Anarchistic Education." In: Social Forces and
Schooling: An Anthropological and Sociological Perspective. 314-16. Edited by Shimarara, N.K. and Scrupski, A. NY: McKay, 1975.
Hannam, C. and Stephenson, N. "Celebrator of Youth." Times Educational
Supplement. 3434 (23 April, 1982): 19. [on Paul Goodman].
HARRINGTON, M. "On Paul Goodman." The Atlantic Monthly. 216
(Aug, 1965): 88-91.
HENTOFF, Nat. "Citizen Va-r-ooooooom! In Memory of Paul Goodman."
Harvard Educational Review. 43, 1 (Feb, 1973): 1-4.
King, R. "Paul Goodman." In: The Party of Eros: Radical Social
Thought and the Realm of Freedom. 78- 115. Chapel Hill, NC:Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1972.
McInnis, Gilbert The Moral Ambiguity of America, In Exile
Publications (February 27, 2012).
Molnar, G. "Meliorism." Anarchy. 8 (Mar, 1968):
Parisi, Peter, ed. (1986). Artist of the Actual: Essays on Paul Goodman.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.
Petry, W. "Review of Paul Goodman: Drawing the Line: The Political
Essays: Creator Spirit Come: The Literary Essays: Nature Heals: The Psychology Essays." Our Generation. 13, 2 (Spring, 1979): 61-5.
Roszak, Theodore. "Exploring Utopia: The Visionary Sociology of
Paul Goodman." In: The Making of a Counter Culture. Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1969.
Steiner, G. "On Paul Goodman." Commentary. 36 (Aug, 1963):
Stoehr, Taylor (ed.). Drawing the Line: The Politcal Essays of
Paul Goodman. NY: Free Life Editions, 1977; NY: E.P. Dutton, 1979.
___. "Growing-Up Absurd Again: Re-Reading Paul Goodman in the Nineties."
Dissent. 37 (Fall, 1990): 486- 94.
___. Here Now Next: Paul Goodman and the Origins of Gestalt Therapy.
San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, c1994.
___. Crazy Horse and Finite Experience: Final Essays of Paul Goodman,
Edited by Taylor Stoehr; Jossey-Bass Publishers, California, 1994
___. (1995): Format and Anxiety: Paul Goodman Critiques the Media,
Ward, Colin. "Paul Goodman's Legacy." Times Educational Supplement.
30, 14 (2 Mar, 1973): 19.
Widmer, K. The End of Culture. San Diego: San Diego State Univ.
Press, 1975.
___. The Literary Rebel. Carbondale: Univ. of S. Illinois Press,
1975. [on Paul Goodman]
___. Paul Goodman. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1980.


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