Four Thousand Years of Hysteria Later …

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 849–851. Reviews the book, Hysterical Personality edited by Mardi J. Horowitz (1977). Here is a book that not only informs the reader in great detail about the current status of hysteria but also provides a fascinating history of this syndrome (by Ilza Veith) starting in ancient Egypt (sources: surviving papyri), proceeding through Greco-Roman, medieval and clerical approaches; English, American-Colonial, and Viennese perspectives; and finally arriving at the French and Freudian theories. This is a well-edited book with less overlap among chapters than frequently occurs in multiauthored publications. It provides thoroughness and depth of treatment in bringing together old and new ideas about hysteria in a scholarly, sophisticated, and very readable way. It can be read with profit by both clinician and researcher. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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