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May 6, 1961

Basic Theory of Psychoanalysis

JAMA. 1961;176(5):470. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040180072034

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This book could have been assigned to a variety of individuals for review. The results would have been quite different whether individual psychoanalysts or nonanalysts had been asked to perform the task of reviewing, depending on the reviewer's frame of reference and personal bias. Because this small volume is so packed with information, it becomes difficult to make anything but a general review if one wishes to avoid becoming implicated in argumentative discussions concerning specific statements. As a general review, one can only admire the completeness with which Dr. Waelder, one of the senior analysts who was long associated with Freud in Vienna, has carried out his task.

The book contains an introduction concerned with a discussion of means of validation of psychoanalytic interpretation and theories. There is a part devoted to the historical development of psychoanalytic thought, a large section concerned with survey and discussion of basic concepts, a

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