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Silverberg, W.V. (1928). The Psychology of Youth: A new edition of Youth and the Race. By Edgar James Swift. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927. Pp. 342. Price $2.50.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 9:273-274.

(1928). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 9:273-274

The Psychology of Youth: A new edition of Youth and the Race. By Edgar James Swift. (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1927. Pp. 342. Price $2.50.)

Review by:
W. V. Silverberg

This book is one of a numerous class now appearing in America whose high-sounding titles give promise of much more than the almost pathetic limitations of their authors allow them to fulfil. In this case the author has evidently had little direct experience of his subject, his case-material being limited almost entirely to newspaper accounts of various escapades of adolescents. The fact that he has had to fall back on this as practically his sole material is illuminating with regard to the equipment of the author for dealing with his subject, as well as to the degree of enlightenment we may expect from the pen of so pronounced an armchair psychologist.

He makes a plea for greater understanding of and sympathy with the instinctual tendencies of adolescents, without, one fears, any real knowledge of what these tendencies actually are. One has the feeling that he would be unutterably shocked if he found out. The present reviewer is undoubtedly open to the charge of prejudice in the matter, but it does seem impossible to do real thinking or valid writing on the psychology of youth without taking into account, in one way or another, the enormous contribution of Freud and his followers to modern thought on the subject. Unquestionably, Professor Swift's basic plea for sympathy and understanding is in itself to be interpreted as an echo or back-wash of the psycho-analytic influence upon psychology. But it is nothing more than an echo, faint and uncomprehending. There is nowhere in the book mention of Freud or of any of his ideas.

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