Book Reviews
May 1937

Nature and Treatment of Amentia.

Author Affiliations

By L. Pierce Clark. Price, $2.50. Pp. 306, with 1 illustration. Baltimore: William Wood & Company, 1933. This book is a summary of a long series of studies of amentia from a psychoanalytic point of view. The author states that "our interest centers mainly upon understanding the individual as a human being; upon studying his attempts to get along in the world, and upon learning in what ways we may help him to function more successfully."

Am J Dis Child. 1937;53(5):1417. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1937.04140120241016

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An introductory chapter is devoted to an excellent summary of psychoanalytic principles. The remainder of the book is devoted largely to studies of cases, the attempt being made to correlate and explain the behavior of persons with varying degrees of amentia in terms of psychoanalytic principles. Cases are described illustrating the various destructive instincts, primary and secondary narcissism, reactions to parents, castration anxiety and other psychic factors. The conclusion and analyses are made from purely objective observations. The author describes in detail the behavior which led to the interpretations. The reader can, therefore, decide for himself whether the conclusions are warranted. The book is extremely well written, interesting and clear. It should be read by every one interested in the management of feebleminded children.

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