|Healy, W. (1949). The Show of Violence: By Frederic Wertham, M.D. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1949. 279 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:516-518.|
Viewing the full text of this document requires a subscription to PEP Web.
If you are coming in from a university from a registered IP address or secure referral page you should not need to log in. Contact your university librarian in the event of problems.
If you have a personal subscription on your own account or through a Society or Institute please put your username and password in the box below. Any difficulties should be reported to your group administrator.
(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:516-518
The Show of Violence: By Frederic Wertham, M.D. New York: Doubleday & Co., 1949. 279 pp.
Accompanied by a prologue and an epilogue dealing tersely with the story of Cain which serves as a text, here are nine high-powered chapters by a psychiatrist who has been in the very center of the
- 516 -
firing line in contested issues of murder cases he dramatically portrays. The book presents a collection of hard-boiled facts put together in virile, compelling, often ironic prose, which becomes a little shrill only in its generalized denunciations. Exhibiting sound scholarship, as in his previous book, Dark Legend, the author likens the situations in certain of his cases to the essence of some Greek tragedies—Medea, Orestes, as well as Oedipus. Then the of Herostratus, who followed his urge to make himself famous by a terrible crime, is enunciated and a wealth of apt quotations from great writers illuminates many a point on many a page.
The longest and most interesting chapter is devoted to the case of that art student, Irwin, who, many of us remember, made a news sensation of 1937 because he killed three people toward whom he had no grudge whatever. The accounts of his weird contract to sell his first confession to the Hearst papers in Chicago where he was staying undetected, the following investigations, the court proceedings, the length (seven months) of the lunacy commission's deliberations (its conclusions were published in a legal and a medical journal before the trial) filled columns in the press for nearly a year.
Wertham had first known the boy
[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]