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February 1939

Man Against Himself.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1939;63(2):430-431. doi:10.1001/archinte.1939.00180190232015

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Under this intriguing title there comes from Dr. Menninger's pen another popular work on psychiatry. This time the subject is suicide—thoroughly analyzed, documented with case reports, correlated with "slow suicide" (asceticism) and finally set off in its relations to the "living suicide" type of neurosis. Dr. Menninger writes plausibly; he is clearly a master of exposition in his subject. The inherent motive of self destruction side by side with that of self preservation; the suicide of the banker not because his peculations were discovered but because his mother was hard to him in his childhood; the repressed housewife who refused to go out because she wanted to hurt her husband, whom she really loved but could not resist torturing—all this is exposed and analyzed with admirable clearness. None the less, the reviewer—probably through ignorance—is not convinced at all points. To take one example, the concept of nail biting as a

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