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(1970). The Crime of Punishment: By Karl Menninger. New York: Viking Press. 1968. Pp. 305.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:553-553.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:553-553

The Crime of Punishment: By Karl Menninger. New York: Viking Press. 1968. Pp. 305.

Few analysts have been so sensitive to their cultural environment and its crises as Dr Karl Menninger. When he received the Isaac Ray award in 1962, it was to be expected that he would address himself to the most pressing problem of his native culture: violence. The three lectures given at Columbia University and the University of Kansas focus on the problem of crime as the most eloquent and baffling manifestation of violence in any culture. Dr Menninger's approach to the problem is epitomized in two statements: 'Perhaps our worst crime is our ignorance of crime', and 'Crime is everybody's temptation'. Drawing upon rich and varied data from court-room reports of trials, clinical material and the relevant literature, the author examines with a vehement candour the legal system for the trial and punishment of offenders and criminals in America. As the title of the book indicates, Dr Menninger has no faith in the logic or necessity of the contemporary institutional and judiciary methods of dealing with crime. His discussion of the role of psychiatry should interest analysts most. To the question as to whether violence in the criminal offender can be effectively treated, his answer is: Yes! Not all analysts will agree with this optimistic therapeutic evaluation of the criminal's predicament. But no one who reads the book can help being moved by Dr Menninger's strenuous vision and feeling involved with the crucial issues at stake regarding violence and crime in all contemporary cultures.

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