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December 24, 1973

Psychoanalytic Schools From the Beginning to the Present

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1575. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130063043

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Psychoanalytic Schools is a formidable book. Its 568 pages run like a sea of uninterrupted black print, presaging its heavy style unleavened by a humorous word or a change of pace—perhaps in part the result of translation from the German.

Its list of contents runs 26 pages—a noble attempt to summarize the material of each chapter, and yet rather threatening in its "muchness." The brief introduction by Leston Havens is the lightest note in the book, and really an excellent summary that brings crucial issues to the fore. Although it conveys briefly and with reasonable accuracy the theoretical approaches of psychoanalysts from Freud to the present, there are some surprising and perhaps capricious inclusions and omissions concerning this side of the ocean—and it would probably be accurate to add, on the other side as well.

It is very difficult to know what kind of recommendation to make about this book.