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November 18, 1950

The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues about the So-Called Psychopathic Personality

JAMA. 1950;144(12):1043. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.02920120067038

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The first edition of this work greatly enhanced our knowledge of the clinical status loosely called psychopathic personality. Because the material on which that book was based consisted of adult male psychopaths in a closed institution and because the author has since widened his experience greatly, he felt that a second edition was necessary. Indeed, the clinical descriptions have been amplified, more variations of the syndrome have been described and a philosophical discursive form has been used to address the nonprofessional as well as the medical reader. There is a detailed table of contents and index. There are many footnote references and remarks as well as an extensive bibliography.

Certainly the author achieves his purpose in indicating the special problems of the psychopathic personality and the peculiar status of this illness in relation to the courts on one hand and the mental hospitals on the other. He makes it clear

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