June 1951

The Envelope: A Study of the Impact of the World upon the Child.

Author Affiliations

By James S. Plant. Price, $3.00. Pp. 295. Commonwealth Fund, Division of Publications, 41 E. 57th St., New York 22, 1950.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1951;81(6):868. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1951.02040030882016

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Without its subtitle the pediatrician could easily, even if erroneously, relegate "The Envelope" to the heap of the well known but ill defined books which are designed to instruct physician and layman though actually offer little benefit to either. This cannot be said judiciously about "The Envelope." The fact is that this volume presents a novel and practical approach to the study of the emotional and cultural development of the child in a complex and competitive world, with all its numberless impacts forcing themselves on him from all sides. The title of the book is properly symbolic of a protective covering, a sort of figurative semipermeable membrane, partly selective in its osmotic preference, thus buffering the forces of these impacts from without and the reactions to them by the organism within the envelope.

The text as a whole is devoted to a basic discussion of action and reaction, stimulation and

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