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January 1969

Children, Child Psychiatry, and Our Brave New World

Author Affiliations

From the Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;20(1):25-37. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740130027002

ALDOUS HUXLEY opened his foreword to a recent edition of the 1932 classic, Brave New World,1 by observing, "Chronic remorse, as all the moralists are agreed, is a most undesirable sentiment. If you have behaved badly, repent, make what amends you can and address yourself to the task of behaving better next time. On no account srood over your wrongdoing. Rolling in the muck is not the best way of getting clean."

Huxley was setting the stage to explain his decision not to rewrite in middle age the imperfect work of his youth, but his psychologically apt admonition perhaps has meaning for those of us in the field of psychiatry today. We are involved in a period of convulsive change; one prominent feature of our professional scene is the number of examinations and reexaminations of our past and current premises, policies, and practices.

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