July 1978

The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa

Author Affiliations

University of Rochester School of Medicine Rochester, NY


by Hilde Bruch, $8.95, 162 pp, Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press, 1978.

Am J Dis Child. 1978;132(7):728. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1978.02120320088033

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Although anorexia nervosa is diagnosed with increasing frequency, a casual survey of books written for families of chronically ill pediatric and psychiatric patients uncovers very little information on this striking condition. Hilde Bruch, MD, whose articles on the subject are cited in every bibliography, has written a highly readable monograph on anorexia nervosa, addressed according to its jacket "to physicians, teachers, school counselors, and parents—to all who are in a position of observing these youngsters before a chronic and often irreversible state develops." It is not a detailed scientific review, but a compendium of her impressive experience and a summary of her therapeutic philosophy. Practitioners who consider it for its designated audience should review the text themselves to see if it reflects their own views and to decide how useful it might be for its intended purpose.

Those familiar with Bruch's previous writings will recognize much of her thesis: that

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