May 1970

The Practical Theorist: The Life and Work of Kurt Lewin.

Author Affiliations

By Alfred J Marrow, PhD. Price, $8.50. Pp 228. Basic Books Inc Publishers, 404 Park Ave S, New York 10016, 1969.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;22(5):476-477. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01740290092014

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The publication of a book on the life and work of Kurt Lewin occasions the hope that his influence may begin to reach a general audience. As Alfred Marrow, Lewin's friend and biographer, points out, the large areas of endeavor in contemporary psychology that Lewin originated have spread far more broadly than his name. What also impresses the concerned observer is the absence of Lewin's spirit from a great deal that is termed group dynamics, field theoretical work, action research, sensitivity training, etc. Fascination with group process is not always accompanied by effort at conceptualization; esoteric diagrams and formulae of evident Lewinian ancestory often sadly lack Lewin's sense for life. Much of the current furor for social change seeks Lewin's impact without sharing his theoretical overview. A presentation of Lewin to the public is much to be desired. Yet even the reader who is predisposed to accept the statement

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