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April 1961

The Western Mind in Transition

Arch Intern Med. 1961;107(4):618-620. doi:10.1001/archinte.1961.03620040144017

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This is a book by a man who knows as much about the Western mind as anyone, and as much about its transition too since he has been observing, thinking, and writing as a psychoanalyst, philosopher, and scientist for at least 50 of his 70 years. This is a book having an amazing combination of liveliness with reflective power and quiet wisdom. I feel sure that if one read the book without having the biographical end-flaps on the cover or without knowing anything about the author he would imagine that a spirited and brilliant man of thirty had managed to absorb a great deal of history, scientific theory, and philosphy while remaining acutely in touch with his times.

The theme to which Alexander returns time and again throughout his wide-ranging discussion of the problems of individual mind and Western culture in this:

The deterioration or surrender of former values and

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