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May 13, 1905

The Diseases of Society (The Vice and Crime Problem).

JAMA. 1905;XLIV(19):1550. doi:10.1001/jama.1905.02500460058025

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As its title indicates, this book covers an extensive subject and one in which the physician as well as the sociologist is, or should be, deeply interested. The social diseases of our times as well as of the past form what we might call an attractively repulsive subject, one that is of wide general interest to the student of social problems, covering in fact the larger part of his field of investigation. Man as an individual is a bundle of evil possibilities, many of them realized, and in the aggregate he cannot be said to be much better. Lydston's book, therefore, is a portrayal of the darker side of humanity and what will be a vivid and startling one to most casual readers. Its point of view is that of a scientific materialism; the criminal and the social transgressor as a class are looked on as largely the product of

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