Bookworms look no further! Hundreds of pages of Becker-related books, articles, and transcripts are available here.
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Flight from Death: This 86-minute documentary, narrated by Gabriel Byrne, vividly illustrates the cultural aspects of Becker's work. Interspersing quotes from Becker scholars in the fields of literary and cultural criticism, philosophy, religion, existential psychiatry and psycho-history, it tells the Becker story with pictures, stories and music. It substantiates our unconscious motivation in reacting to terror. View this video and understand the Terror Management experiments.
The Ernest Becker Reader: Most will savor this rich longitudinal view of Becker after they have caught the fever from one or all of the three books still in print. For all Becker fans The Reader is a must.
This series of letters introduced, edited, and annotated by his campus chaplain friend, Harvey Bates, chronicles Becker's personal struggles in academic and spiritual realms while Viet Nam raged. In 1973, the year Denial of Death was published, they had their last exchange, as cancer suddenly snuffed out the brilliant flame. See also the transcript of the death-bed interview above. These two sources are the best we have for sensing the soul of Ernest Becker beyond his writings.
The cover story in the 27 August 2007 issue of The New Republic, “The Shadow of Death: How Political Psychology Explains Bush's Ghastly Success” features cover art, inside art and a big wonderful article on Ernest Becker and Terror Management Theory by John B. Judis. This is an excellent entree to understand TMT experiments.
Zygon: Journal of Religion and Science, Vol. 33, Issue #1, March 1998, had a Becker section with a centerpiece on Terror Management Theory (TMT) by Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszezynski, a guest editorial by Neil Elgee, and articles by Daniel Liechty, Sally A. Kenel, and Eugene Webb. Daniel Liechty's article, entitled Reaction to Mortality: An Interdisciplinary Organizing Principle for the Human Sciences, retains its pertinence as a companion to TMT 10 years later, so we are pleased to be able to offer it to the EBF constituency. The other material in that memorable issue may be found in the archives of the Journal.
Sam Keen wrote this essay in response to Becker’s “darkness.” Henry Richards reviewed it in the Sept 2010 newsletter as “a must read for anyone interested in understanding the present context of Becker’s legacy.” Neil Elgee in his review also praises Keen but offers a contrasting viewpoint.
Most will savor this rich longitudinal view of Becker after they have caught the fever from one or all of the three books still in print. For all Becker fans, The Reader is a must. (A $35 Flight From Death & Ernest Becker Reader combo is available as well.)
Becker was in the hospital, terminally ill, but rose to the occasion for this daylong conversation. An article entitled “The Heroics of Everyday Life: A Theorist of Death Confronts His Own End” was drawn from this transcript and published by Keen in Psychology Today, April 1974. The transcript is available through the generosity of Sam Keen. There is also an audio recording of the interview available at this link.