I listened to the audio version of this book because it’s on my list of books that I’ve seen referenced enough that I thought I should read. I must say I was rather disappointed. I thought it would be about myths, the history of myths, comparisons between myths in different countries (which it did do a little bit), etc. However, what it really was an attempt to psychoanalyze our culture and historical culturals by substituting myths for dreams in analysis. Also, there was an attempt to show what role myths played in the psychological development of people in previous cultures.
Having read it I see why it was so popular in the 1970s, especially the part about changing how culture is organized today to deal with some of the issues once covered by a belief in myths as impacted by modern day life.
I have a friend who keeps more abreast in this particular New Age/Psychological corner of the scholarly world than I who says Campbell has been at least partially discredited. I’m glad I read it to know what the fuss was all about, but I can’t say I’d recommend it to anybody, unless they were interested in psychoanalysis. Otherwise, go ahead and cross it off your to be read list.
UPDATED March 5, 2016: I did some slight editing especially the first sentence which reading it again it was, let’s face it, clunky. I also caught a rather embarrassing typo.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.