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Mackenzie, M. (1965). A Reader for Parents: Selected and edited by the Child Study Association of America. With an introduction and comment by Anna W. M. Wolf. (New York: Norton, 1963. Pp. 463. $8.95.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 46:396-397.

(1965). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 46:396-397

A Reader for Parents: Selected and edited by the Child Study Association of America. With an introduction and comment by Anna W. M. Wolf. (New York: Norton, 1963. Pp. 463. $8.95.)

Review by:
Marion Mackenzie

Psycho-analysts have always laid emphasis on clinical material as an essential adjunct to theoretical presentation because it allows the listener to identify with a living person and to feel emotionally what is happening to him; an experience that not only illumines but is crucial for the proper grasp of conceptual work by another.

Amidst the welter of books giving information and advice that bombard the modern parent some will find it refreshing to read a book that offers the raw data of human experience in the form of extracts from biography and fiction. Here the reader is given the opportunity to enter the world of others at a formative period of life, to mull over what he sees and to draw his own conclusions. No attempt is made to press the contents into a theoretical framework. Each extract deals with an individual, or a family, in one of those dramatic phases of life, after which nothing could be quite the same again. The core of the extracts chosen, being a supreme moment when deep emotion and intuition combine in a revealing flash of insight into the mysteries of human nature, gives the reader a glimpse into the depth of personality that is indigenous to children and artists, and to those parents who have found the way to commute between the world of grown-ups, and the world of their children.

The selections are made from the writings of sixty-one authors of international repute, including Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Thomas Mann, Tolstoi and Churchill, to name a few.

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