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Bech, E.B. (1941). Social Work Year Book, 1939: Edited by Russell H. Kurtz. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1939. 730 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 10:350-351.

(1941). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 10:350-351

Social Work Year Book, 1939: Edited by Russell H. Kurtz. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1939. 730 pp.

Review by:
Elisabeth Brockett Bech

The purpose of this biennial publication is described in its subtitle: A Description of Organized Activities in Social Work and in Related Fields. It is composed of three major sections: Part I, topical articles written by authorities in the fields discussed; Part II, a description of the public assistance programs in effect in each of the forty-eight states; Part III, a directory of national and state agencies, both public and voluntary.

An improvement over other issues is a reorganization of the material covered in the topical outline, resulting in the bringing together of a number of closely related topics hitherto treated separately. These articles are descriptive of functions, organized activities and programs rather than of individual agencies. Of the eighty-two articles included, two are written by psychiatrists; one on Mental Hygiene by Dr. Karl M. Bowman, and one on Behavior Problems by Dr. William Healy and Dr. Augusta F. Bronner. In the others there is a striking absence of up-to-date psychiatric concepts.

One feature of this edition which makes it different from the four previous volumes is its inclusion of the state-by-state description of the public assistance programs in effect throughout this country (Part II). This reflects the current increased emphasis upon governmental services. The frequency of its publication (every two years) is of value especially in this field where organizations are changing so rapidly and where reference books become unrepresentative of what is going on in as brief a span of time as five years.

This book has value to numerous groups of people, including not only social workers and practitioners in related fields, but also agency board members, legislators, public administrators, reference librarians, teachers, publicists and students of the social sciences.

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