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Needles, W. (1949). Psychiatry in a Troubled World: By William C. Menninger, M.D. The Macmillan Co., 1948. 636 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:363-367.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:363-367

Psychiatry in a Troubled World: By William C. Menninger, M.D. The Macmillan Co., 1948. 636 pp.

Review by:
William Needles

The first part of this book is a report of the rôle of psychiatry in the army during World War II. A similar report, Volume X of the Medical Department of the United States Army in World War I, was promptly consigned to the shelves and remained in obscurity until the advent of the last war; then it was taken down and consulted in the hope that it would provide paradigms for the solution of the gigantic problems that lay ahead. The fact that the present volume, instead of being relegated to official archives, is offered to the reading public attests the widespread interest in psychiatry that occurred during and since World War II.

This report is not one that he who runs may read. Great thoroughness has gone into its making. The problems that confronted psychiatry, the measures taken to cope with them, and the lessons learned, are aired with meticulous attention to detail. Copiously documented, with footnotes and references, charts and graphs, tables and appendices, facts and figures, the account makes for somewhat labored reading. As a recompense, it will provide, for those who are interested in and unfamiliar with the army, a comprehensive picture of psychiatric organization and functioning during the last war. For those who served in the army, in a necessarily limited capacity which permitted but a worm's-eye view of what was going on, the observations of the author, who by virtue of his position commanded a panoramic view of the whole process, will afford new perspectives.

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