An Exclusive Disease

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1978, Vol 23(11), 942–943. Reviews the book, The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa by Hilde Bruch (1978). This book is based on the author's clinical observations from extensive casework and focuses on both the dynamics and symptomatology accompanying the development of anorexia nervosa (AN) and the efficacy of different treatment strategies. This book is eminently readable and generously spiced with vivid illustrations from Bruch's own clinical case material. The author's discussion of and generalization from this material is wonderfully astute. The reader comes away with the feeling that he or she knows these women, and in this respect Bruch has admirably fulfilled her goal of providing an aid to the early identification of anorexia nervosa. The one disadvantage of Bruch's use of clinical anecdotes is that the overall organization of the book is in part sacrificed to accommodate case material; the connections between cases are sometimes loosely drawn and much of the book is somewhat repetitious. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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