May 17, 1976

American Handbook of Psychiatry

Author Affiliations

Tufts University School of Medicine Boston


6 vol, Silvano Arieti, editor-in-chief, ed 2; 1,270, 858, 896, 980, 1,009, 1,092 pp, $169.50/set, New York, Basic Books, 1975.

JAMA. 1976;235(20):2244. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260460056033

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Dr Silvano Arieti, the editor-inchief of The American Handbook of Psychiatry, now in its second edition, has sought to present "all the reputable schools of thought and therapeutic approaches" from which "students and professionals would have to choose and pave their own ways either towards eclecticism, plurality, or a given orientation." Completeness has been "preferred to simplification, representation of contrasting views to uniformity and attempts towards consistency." The adjective "American" in the title reflects the tendency characterizing most psychiatrists in the United States, "to listen to, try out, and evaluate all theories and methodologies and techniques, and to absorb and find a place for all or many of them."

He has been very successful in this undertaking. The six volumes, each edited by a separate editor or editors of great distinction, offer a balanced view of the evolving, confusing, yet exciting state of modern psychiatry. The authors are scholars who