5. BEST BOOKS ON JEALOUSY

Copyright © 2010 by James Leonard Park

Selected and reviewed by James Park.
These books are listed in order of quality, beginning with the best.
The red comments are the evaluations and opinions of this reviewer.


1. Gordon Clanton & Lynn G. Smith, editors 
Jealousy

(Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1977)       244 pages
(Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1986)       260 pages
(Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1998---3rd ed.)       326 pages

    A collection of essays from various perspectives.
The best: Margaret Mead "Jealousy: Primitive and Civilized"
p. 115-126 (all editions).
This essay reviews the wide variety of marriage patterns,
each with its own models of appropriate and inappropriate sexual sharing,
with the corresponding presence or absence of jealousy.
Mead shows that the emotion of jealousy is a cultural construct.

    The revised editions have the same pages of the prior ones.
The only differences are the addition of appexdixes
by Gordon Clanton bringing the research up to date
and exploring such issues as whether jealousy changes
as history passes thru different phases.
Once jealousy was taken as a healthy sign of love.
Then it was taken as a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem.
How will the 21st century understand jealousy?


2. Nancy Friday
Jealousy

(New York: Morrow, 1985)       539 pages

    An autobiographical exploration of the phenomenon of jealousy;
based on: childhood memories of sibling rivalry;
interviews with other jealous men and women;
on-going discussions with psychotherapists;
& readings of technical and popular literature about jealousy.
Useful in distinguishing envy and jealousy.
Nancy Friday explores her personal experiences of envy and jealousy in depth.
Denials and defenses against jealousy, attempts to cope with jealousy.
The problem of jealousy is presented in very readable ways,
but Friday offers no solutions or ways of preventing jealousy.
Sometimes she merely reproduces her interviews
and discussions without much attempt to organize the material.


3. Peter Van Sommers
Jealousy

(London: Penguin Books, 1988)       214 pages

    An academic exploration of jealousy
as observed by anthropology, sociology, & psychiatry.
A comprehensive review of the literature, well presented.
But the author presents no new perspectives or solutions
to the problem of jealousy.


4. Gregory L. White & Paul E. Mullen
Jealousy: Theory, Research, and Clinical Strategies

(New York: Gilford Press, 1989)       340 pages

    A comprehensive, scientific approach to the various problems of jealousy:
the jealousy triangle: (1) the jealous person, (2) the beloved, & (3) the rival;
nine methods of coping with jealousy;
explaining jealousy by looking for its genetic sources in the animal kingdom (sociobiology);
the jealous personality; jealousy in other cultures;
pathological jealousy and delusions of infidelity; jealousy and sexual arousal;
clinical treatments for pathological jealousy.
This book is more technical than the other books,
but the serious student of jealousy will find it worth reading.


5. Shirley Eskapa
Woman Versus Woman: The Extramarital Affair

(New York: Franklin Watts, 1984)       210 pages

    The conflict between the wife and the Other Woman over the man.
Based on hundreds of interviews in Great Britain.
Many interesting stories of wives and OW's
—and how they dealt with a wandering husband.
This book takes a definitely negative view of having affairs.
It wants to preserve marriage, often for the sake of the children.
Descriptive rather than prescriptive.
Explores the problem but offers no new solutions.


6. Ayala Malach Pines 
Romantic Jealousy:

Causes, Symptoms, Cures

(New York: Routledge, 1998)       303 pages
(ISBN: 0-415-92010-8; paperback)
(Library of Congress call number: BF575.J4P4715 1998)

    A psychotherapist discusses the many dimensions of conventional jealousy,
especially as seen among clients.
Sometimes jealousy is completely baseless and irrational.
People suffer fantasy fears for psychological reasons,
for instance when the 'rival' is long gone or even dead.
She suggests various psychological methods
for coping with pathological jealousy.

    The author believes that 'normal jealousy'
may even be a healthy sign in a relationship.

    This book does not break any new ground,
but it might be a place to begin
for readers who have read nothing on jealousy before.


7. David M. Buss
The Dangerous Passion:

Why Jealousy is as Necessary as Love and Sex

(New York: Free Press, 2000)       258 pages
(ISBN: 0-684-85081-8; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: BF575.J4B87 2000)

     An 'evolutionary psychologist' attempts to show
that jealousy developed so that a man could be sure
that the children of his mate were really 'his'.
Females get jealous because of the danger of losing a mate
who provides material support for her and the children.

     This reviewer regards this as a false premise.
Jealous men are not concerned about the DNA of the children.
Observe the jealousy feelings displayed on the "Jerry Springer Show".
Are any of these people worried about reproduction?

     Despite this limited view of the reasons for jealousy,
this book does contain lots of good examples
of people behaving in very jealous ways.
Lots of married people attempt to have secret affairs.
One chapter explores the violence frequently associated with jealousy.
And another explores a few conventional coping strategies.
But this book provides no new insights into jealousy.
It main value may be in taking jealousy seriously.
If readers need more illustrations of jealousy, here they are.


[last]. James Park
"Loving without Jealousy:

As We Become More Authentic, Jealousy Disappears",

Chapter 5 of New Ways of Loving:
How Authenticity Transforms Relationships.
(Minneapolis, MN: www.existentialbooks.com, 2007—6th edition)

    In just 16 pages, this chapter covers all the essential dimensions
of jealousy and how it can be prevented.
Jealousy arises because of comparison, competition,
& the fear of being replaced.
So, if becoming more Authentic makes us more irreplaceable,
then we become immune to jealousy.

    To see the first six pages of this chapter, click this blue title:
"Loving without Jealousy ".
This link will also lead you to a synopsis of this chapter.

    Click here for the whole table of contents of New Ways of Loving.


    Please suggest additional good books on jealousy to:
James Park: e-mail: PARKx032@TC.UMN.EDU


[Jealousy Bibliography updated August 2007; revised 3-29-2009; 9-23-2010]


If you would like to read an online, three-page article on jealousy, go to:
Romantic Jealousy: Cause and Prevention .


Many other Internet resources on jealousy
are collected in the Jealousy Portal .


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If you are interested in jealousy,
perhaps you would also like to read books about multiple loving:
Go to the Multiple Loving Bibliography .


Go to the Book Review Index
to see over 600 other books reviewed by James Park,
organized into over 60 different bibliographies.


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