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February 8, 1919

Mental Diseases: A Handbook Dealing with diagnosis and Classification.

JAMA. 1919;72(6):445. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610060059035

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The subtitle states that this book deals with diagnosis and classification. It does, to the extent of about eighty-seven pages of text. The introduction informs us that "this little book" is a response to a need for "concise, digested information." But brevity is not a synonym for conciseness. The contribution is brief but the style is not concise. Nor is the information digested. This "handbook" is about the size of a quiz compend, without the latter's condensed and systematic information. Those desiring a sketchy smattering of not very accurate knowledge of mental disorders may perhaps be satisfied with this work. Thirty-five photographs of insane patients adorn the work but fail to illuminate the subject.

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