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Nature volume 127, page 372 (07 March 1931) | Download Citation



DR. MENNINGER, who is a well-known American psychiatrist, has attempted to place before the lay reader the problems of mental disorder. This is a difficult task, for the subject is a highly technical one, and to make it intelligible and at the same time preserve its dignity would appear to be a task of the severest. Yet the author has presented what is probably the best account of the human mind viewed from the abnormal side. It is a book which may be read to great advantage by psychiatrists as well as the lay reader. The author's explanation of mental mechanisms looked at from an analytic point of view is excellent and his case records, which are perhaps the most fascinating part of the book, show an extraordinarily wide and sympathetic understanding of the distraught mind. Some of the explanations of aberrant conduct may appear exaggerated to the uninitiated, but they are very familiar to those who have to deal with the mentally abnormal.

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