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Tip: To sort articles by year…

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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Rickman, J. (1936). The Dangers of Being Human: By Edward Glover. (Six Broadcast 'Talks' and two Appendices.) (Allen and Unwin, London, 1936. Pp. 206. Price 5 s.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 17:521-529.

(1936). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 17:521-529

The Dangers of Being Human: By Edward Glover. (Six Broadcast 'Talks' and two Appendices.) (Allen and Unwin, London, 1936. Pp. 206. Price 5 s.

Review by:
John Rickman

It would be an interesting and perhaps not a vain exercise of fancy to imagine a series of broadcasts on the dangers of being human as they would have been given in the Middle Ages, and another in the period prior to the Great War, and then to compare them with the one before us. The first would have been in the main theological and would have dealt with the dangers from God's wrath on account of man's sinful nature. The second would have been predominantly biological and would have discussed the struggle for existence and either the risks to mankind from an epidemic due to a germ that had not been discovered or that had acquired an enhanced virulence, or else the danger to our food supply from a mutation in the insect world. It is unlikely that a B.B.C. of the pre-war period would have given the microphone to a psychologist at all, but the times have changed, and the broadcasts given in the Autumn of 1935 and here reproduced in book-form were devoted exclusively to the psychological dangers discovered by psycho-analysis.

The book makes the identification of the writer with psycho-analysis quite clear, and on the title page the author selects from the numerous designations he had at his command only one, 'Director of Research, London Institute of Psycho-Analysis'. To the British public all psycho-analysts are represented by this book and the broadcast lectures on which it was based, and therefore a review of this book cannot confine itself to a consideration of Dr. Glover's individual views, but must also consider it as a public statement of our science in relation to social problems. Dr. Glover deals with the psychological dangers with his accustomed vigour, and no reader can be left in doubt that that peril of being human which comes from unconscious mental forces far exceeds in urgency and importance all other dangers put together.

The book emphasizes man's unconscious preoccupation with death wishes and destruction, and points out how little this preoccupation is realized by the community.

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