Utne Reader visionary [Originally published as Robert Jay Lifton in the January-February 1995 issue of Utne Reader]
In his new book, The Protean Self, Lifton asserts that proteanism—the ability to be ironic and even cynical one moment, and sincerely committed to a religious faith the next—may be the only sane, healthy alternative to fundamentalism in today’s turbulent world. Working from his experience as a U.S. Air Force psychiatrist in the Far East, he has conducted several major studies that bring together psychiatry, ethics, and history. His report on atomic holocaust survivors, Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima, won the National Book Award. He is a professor of psychiatry and psychology at the City University of New York.