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Oberndorf, C.P. (1944). Love Against Hate: By Karl A. Menninger. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1942; Allen & Unwin, London, 1944. Pp. 311. Price, $3.50; 10 s. 6 d.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 25:171.
(1944). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 25:171
Love Against Hate: By Karl A. Menninger. (Harcourt, Brace & Co., New York, 1942; Allen & Unwin, London, 1944. Pp. 311. Price, $3.50; 10 s. 6 d.)
Review by: C. P. Oberndorf
In this his latest book, Dr. Menninger returns to the field of popular interpretation of the application of psycho-analytic thought to manifold human interests. It is written in the same easy style and enlivened by striking clinical observations, amusing anecdotes and pertinent quotations from nonmedical as well as medical writers which made Dr. Menninger's Human Mind so valuable to the general public and achieved for it its notable success.
Among the chapter headings are such interesting topics as 'The Frustration of the Child', 'The Depreciation of Femininity', 'Work', 'Play', 'Faith and Hope'. These titles reveal the wide range of subjects covered.
Generally speaking Dr. Menninger's thesis is that 'this medicine, love, which cures all sorrow' is indeed very old, but that to Freud we are indebted for his analysis of the mechanisms by which hate becomes fused with love and threatens to overcome it. Dr. Menninger for his part examines those resources which favour the life instinct and oppose the deathinstinct and inquires whether it may be possible to cultivate remedies which may allay those hatreds which cause such misery and havoc in the world. This question he answers in the affirmative.
Throughout the book, in discussing various problems of education and social endeavour, Dr. Menninger always favours examples which support the positive or love side in the antagonism of love and hate. He reverts to the old formula of Plato—'for love is the desire of the whole and the pursuit of the whole is called love'—and at the end quotes from Rebecca West's contribution to Living Philosophies as the spirit in which our lives could be lived: 'if we do not regard as sacred our own choice and the choice of others, we open the door and let into life the ugliest attribute of the human race, which is cruelty … the root of all other vices.'
Love Against Hate furnishes entertaining reading from cover to cover. It should appeal not only to physicians but to a large group of laymen who are interested in a psychiatric approach to social problems.
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