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Malcove, L. (1945). Psychology and Human Living: By Walter C. Langer. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1943. 286 pp. (A publication of the Commission on Human Relations of the Progressive Education Commission.). Psychoanal Q., 14:249-251.

(1945). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 14:249-251

Psychology and Human Living: By Walter C. Langer. New York: D. Appleton-Century Co., 1943. 286 pp. (A publication of the Commission on Human Relations of the Progressive Education Commission.)

Review by:
Lillian Malcove

'That the present generation may be able to create more humane and workable designs for living than have their elders' is the goal towards which Mr. Langer, a clinical psychologist, wrote Psychology and Human Living. To the extent that book knowledge can be utilized to influence behavior, Langer's book fulfils this purpose. Whatever the specific or general purpose of extending this knowledge may be, the book does fill a gap in our psychiatric literature left by the paucity of simplified presentations of human behavior which include undistorted psychoanalytic contributions to psychiatry and psychology. It is singularly well written for the average interested lay reader and at the same time it is sufficiently inclusive to be useful to readers in allied professional fields.

The book is written in a style which makes it easy to read. The material is presented painstakingly and comprehensibly: facts, simple and known, are developed step by step into concepts, complex and generally unknown. There is ample repetition and clarifying case illustration. Technical terminology is conservatively used. The way in which symptomatology and abnormal behavior is discussed in relation to normal behavior is reassuring to the lay reader who might otherwise be alarmed. It is assumed that the norm is a fiction and that everyone has some problems for which there are possibilities of a solution.

How much one can derive from this book depends to some extent on the reader's background and preparation.

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