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November 17, 1978


Author Affiliations

Tumor Center Medical Group, Inc Santa Cruz, Calif


by Milton Greenblatt, 278 pp, $18.50, New York, Grune & Stratton, 1978.

JAMA. 1978;240(21):2331. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290210113046

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Here is a book full of insightful information on the workings of the Massachusetts political system as it affects mental health workers and institutions there. Dr Greenblatt has coined the unfortunate word "psychopolitics" to describe what was the essential nature of his job. As he explains it, however, it would be difficult to summarize the work requirements of a psychiatric administrator in a better way.

In the first part of the text, the author details the inner workings of the Massachusetts legislative, executive, and judicial systems as they impinge on the Department of Mental Health. He cites specific examples of the frustrations and opportunities inherent in the bureaucratic jungle and spells out specific problems that persons working in such a milieu will have to either accept or attempt to combat. Doubtless the Massachusetts politician limned so well in these pages is not a creature unique to that state.

Besides the