Growing Up Absurd

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Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society
Growing Up Absurd.jpg
AuthorPaul Goodman
CountryUnited States
PublisherVintage Books
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover and Paperback)

Growing Up Absurd: Problems of Youth in the Organized Society is a 1960 book by Paul Goodman.[1]


The book was rejected by nineteen publishers before being serialized in Commentary, and was eventually published with the assistance of Norman Podhoretz.[2] Goodman focuses on the erosion of traditional social institutions as a result of a world dominated by large corporations which fail to provide a meaningful existence to their workers.[3]


Growing Up Absurd has been compared to Herbert Marcuse's Eros and Civilization (1955) and Norman O. Brown's Life Against Death (1959) by the philosopher Todd Dufresne, who notes that its influence can be measured in terms of sales figures: over one hundred thousand copies were sold in its first few years.[1]

In 2012, New York Review Books Classics, the publishing division of the New York Review of Books, reprinted Growing Up Absurd, with a foreword by Columbia University historian Casey Nelson Blake.[4]


  1. ^ a b Dufresne 2000. p. 111.
  2. ^ Podhoretz 1999. pp. 20, 78.
  3. ^ Kirsch, Adam (15 November 2012). "Paul Goodman: America's classic bad teacher". New Statesman. Retrieved March 24, 2015.
  4. ^ "Growing Up Absurd". New York Review Books. Retrieved 2019-06-26.


  • Dufresne, Todd (2000). Tales from the Freudian Crypt: The Death Drive in Text and Context. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-3885-8.
  • Podhoretz, Norman (1999). Ex-Friends: Falling out with Allen Ginsberg, Lionel and Diana Trilling, Lillian Helman, Hannah Arendt, and Norman Mailer. New York: The Free Press. ISBN 0-684-85594-1.