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September 1965

Childhood and Society.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;116(3):474. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03870030154043

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Erik Eriksen is a remarkable individual. He has no college degrees yet is Professor of Human Development at Harvard University. He came to psychology via art, which explains why the reader will find him painting contexts and backgrounds rather than stating dull facts and concepts. He has been a training psychoanalyst for many years as well as a perceptive observer of cultural and social settings and their effect on growing up.

This is not just a book on childhood. It is a panorama of our society. Anxiety in young children, apathy in American Indians, confusion in veterans of war, and arrogance in young Nazis are scrutinized under the psychoanalytic magnifying glass. The material is well written and devoid of technical jargon. The theme of the volume is that it is human to have a long childhood which will leave a lifelong residue of emotional immaturity in man. Primitive groups and

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