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Knight, R.P. (1946). Psychiatry Today and Tomorrow: By Samuel Zachary Orgel, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, 1946. 514 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 15:511-512.
(1946). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 15:511-512
Psychiatry Today and Tomorrow: By Samuel Zachary Orgel, M.D. New York: International Universities Press, 1946. 514 pp.
Review by: Robert P. Knight
Doctor Orgel states in the preface that he has converted into book form his lectures on psychiatry to nurses, social workers, teachers and others. This is an admirable thing to do, but the title chosen for the book is misleading. At least this reviewer was led to expect a survey of the 'tomorrow' aspects of modern psychiatry—the horizons, the unsolved problems, the frontiers. These, however, are missing, and there is more 'yesterday' than 'tomorrow' in the text. A more accurate title would have been 'A Textbook of Psychiatry for Nurses, Social Workers, Teachers, and Other Interested Persons'.
Following an opening twenty-seven page chapter on the history of psychiatry there are two chapters on the psychoanalytic viewpoint, presented in standard, simple terms, and entitled, The Psychological Development of the Individual, and Mental Mechanisms or Dynamics. There follows a simple presentation of the symptomatology of mental disease from the standpoint of yesterday's descriptive psychiatry, followed by the longest section of the book—one hundred twenty-nine pages of standard, descriptive psychiatry of the organic mental disorders, beginning with General Paresis, and following faithfully the A. P. A. classification of syndromes. The functional psychoses receive sixty-four pages, the neuroses twenty-four pages, and mental deficiency twenty-seven pages. This material is accurate, condensed, and complete, but bears almost no relationship to the introductory chapters dealing with dynamic viewpoints. It is actually a compendium for students. A regular section on nursing care for each syndrome is included as a special feature of value to those who actually take care of the mentally ill. Concluding chapters on war neuroses, social work, occupational therapy, care and management, causes and prevention, insanity and criminal law, and commitment laws occupy about one hundred pages, and a glossary of psychiatric terms is given at the end. This section of the book contains much valuable factual material, and presents an enlightened point of view. One could only praise such a book if its title were as unpretentious as the content, but it seems to this reviewer that the publishers are to be criticized for directing to a wide public a book which contains much material unusable to them.
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