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April 1958

Psychopathic Personalities.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;101(4):840. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260160164025

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Inflexible opponents of psychiatry, before passing to the next book review, might consider the words of Oliver Cromwell in a letter to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1650: "Gentlemen, I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you may be mistaken."

The title "Psychopathic Personalities" misleads, for these nine delightful essays discuss the nature and character of the major neurotic and psychotic syndromes as well as psychopathy. The author is clearly inspired by William James and influenced but not bludgeoned by Freud ; he writes with a clarity and conciseness that would be startling in any physician and is glittering in a psychiatrist. This is neither a textbook of diagnosis or treatment nor a tract from any one school; it is a reflective discourse from a wise thinker. I warmly recommend it. Quotations from "Understanding Human Behavior" are "The process of birth

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