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Eder, M.D. (1931). Psychopathology and Politics: By Harold D. Lasswell. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press and London: The Cambridge University Press. Pp. 285. Price 13 s. 6 d. net.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 12:237-238.

(1931). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 12:237-238

Psychopathology and Politics: By Harold D. Lasswell. (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press and London: The Cambridge University Press. Pp. 285. Price 13 s. 6 d. net.)

Review by:
M. D. Eder

This book, by the assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, is the most serious endeavour that I have met to base an understanding of politics, and more especially of politicians, upon the findings of psycho-analysis. In an interesting chapter on the criteria of political types, Lasswell correctly takes the various types, such as the benevolent despot, the prince, the conservative, communist, reformer, agitator, bureaucrat, as descriptions of differing kinds of personalities, and is able to include them, more or less perfectly, into Jung's type-system. Lasswell is, however, at pains to point out that Jung's classified types give no greater understanding of the genesis and of the dynamic forces at play in any particular personality than do the popular descriptions.

We need in theory, says Lasswell, a developmental conception of the bosses and politicians, and for this we must go to Freud. True to modernist methods, Lasswell obtains a general formula to express the developmental facts about the fully developed political man.

p } d { r —P. Armed with this formula the explanation is simple and we find on page 75 we can proceed to the investigation of the political man.

The succeeding chapters are devoted to the case histories of varieties of political agitators, administrators, and people with strong political convictions.

This is the beginning of a new service to politics which is not likely to earn the gratitude of the politician, although it should be of enormous value to clear thinking in regard to political measures and ideas.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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