Book Reviews
May 1943

The Function of the Orgasm.

Author Affiliations

By Wilhelm Reich, M.D. Price, $3.00. Pp. 368, with 48 illustrations. New York: Orgone Institute Press, Inc., 1942.

Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(5):826. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010170148018

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This is a difficult book to review. Any attempt to close the gap between physical and mental causes and effects gets into the field of emotion. Words are still inadequate to bridge this gap. The author accepts the responsibility of making a new approach to the problem of mental disease. He says his book is concerned with "revolutionary knowledge." Many statements are made with the assurance of one in revolt, but too many of them are based on other statements whose power to convince lies entirely in the force of the words used.

Reich states that this is a narrative rather than a textbook. The first three chapters give an account of how he came to his belief in the orgasm theory. There are many statements in italics, many with new terms. Some are defined, but some of the definitions are sources of further confusion. He states that sex economy

First Page Preview View Large
First page PDF preview
First page PDF preview