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In his introduction Brown states, "... my object is to review our changing understanding of hypnosis and its clinical use in hypnotherapy in the light of our new knowledge of human behavior and brain function." He achieves his objective brilliantly in a comprehensive and scholarly fashion.
Brown has digested over 1000 sources (the majority recent) and describes his understanding of how humans communicate. He then proceeds to explain how this communicative ability impacts and is interwoven with the phenomenon we call hypnosis.
The book has three sections, each covering the origins, abilities, and uses of social communication and hypnosis. The first third covers the anthropologic evolution of human communication, both nonverbal and verbal. Topics include our common primate ancestors and their evolution; how critical constant communication was to our ancestors' evolutionary success; and the evolution of human communication through facial expression, gesture, rhythm of movement, and, eventually, speech. Also included are