New Ideas—Old Reactions

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 899–900. Reviews the book, Freud in Germany: Revolution and Reaction in Science, 1893-1907 by Hannah S. Decker (see record 1979-05020-000). This book explores the responses of German physicians, psychologists, and the educated public to psychoanalysis from its beginnings in 1907. Through an examination of pre-World War I periodicals, monographs, and texts, it is demonstrated that Freud's ideas were often taken seriously, that physicians attempted to carry out psychoanalyses, and that Freud's early writings were incorporated into larger works and made the basis for numerous articles. This volume is an informative, scrupulously researched, scholarly work that basically is a socio-historic-psychological study of new scientific ideas, their acceptance or rejection, and their capacity to elicit reactive hostility or silent ignorance when they do not fit in comfortably with the existing group orientation or belief. If the author had speculated about these broader issues that are illustrated in her work, her contribution would be even greater than the magnificent one she has given. Decker's monograph will be a valuable reference source for many years. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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