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October 16, 1967

Historic Derivations of Modern Psychiatry

Author Affiliations



edited by Iago Galdston, 241 pp, 16 illus, $12.50, New York, Toronto, Sydney, and London: The Blakiston Division, McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967.

JAMA. 1967;202(3):249. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130160123049

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This collection of eight essays originally presented at a seminar, makes no claim to being a systematic history of psychiatry. In his introduction, Galdston expresses his belief that history is neither consistent nor predictable, but "happens" in paradoxical and divergent ways which, however, have "hapible reasons. He complains that too much of medical history written in the past 100 years has been a picture of steady progress made by a few heroic figures. In the present book we have, instead, reports of some of the inconsistent developments, described by authors who, through their own interest in these special topics, succeed in interesting their readers.

Charlton shows how Greek thought, especially in the Hippocratic writings and in Plato, have influenced modern psychiatric thought, and Galdston discusses medical ideas. Mental hospitals, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, are described by Mora. Riese, tracing attempts to solve the body-mind problem, gives