The human mind

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Reviews the book, The human mind (Third Edition.) by Karl A. Menninger (1945). This latest revision of Karl Menninger's best-known work seems to be a revision in name only. Its chief departure from the text which appeared eight years ago consists of a newly written section in which the author purports to do justice to “new developments in therapy” within a space of seven pages. By and large, however, the text stands pretty much as it was originally issued fifteen years ago. As he reveals himself in this little-revised edition of his major opus and in his contemporary journal publications, therefore, Menninger at fifty two remains in essence one of the purest of the purer and more important American Freudians. Without meaning to do so, Menninger thus makes it abundantly clear that no scientist, psychiatrist or otherwise, can do justice to the total problem of human adjustment if he falls short of understanding that many of the emotional difficulties which beset “the human mind” are culturally induced or are a product of the particular set of conditions under which we live. Still tightly clutching his little bundle of Freudian instincts, the noted author of “The Human Mind” takes no more than passing note of the culture which the anthropologist and the social psychologist, and millions of discerning laymen, have been turning inside out for the past ten years or more. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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