By M. F. Ashley Montague. Price, $17.75. Pp. 614, with no illustrations. Charles C Thomas, Publisher, 301-327 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield, Ill., 1962.
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Authored by a world-famed cultural anthropologist and purporting to be "the first of its kind in any language," this volume culminates a monumental undertaking—a one-man review of "prenatal influences." Each of the book's 20 chapters treats a different "prenatal influence" from maturation through maternal fatigue, viral infection, and the process of delivery. Each draws on hordes of references. A glance at the 78-page tightly spaced bibliography confirms the intensity of the author's devotion to completeness "in covering the effects of any and every known stimulus in the development of the human organism."
Unfortunately many of the references are accepted at face value, in some instances possibly reflecting the hopeless task confronting a single individual who tries singlehandedly to present such an immense topic. (This occurs in spite of a number of equally famous experts having reviewed the manuscript.) Consequently the entire product stands in sharp contrast to the volume in
ROBERTSON WO. Prenatal Influences.. Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(2):204. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030206024