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Arlow, J.A. (1960). Psychoanalysis of Today: Edited by S. Nacht. (American Adaptation by Ruth Emma Roman.) New York and London: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1959. 228 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 29:401-402.

(1960). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 29:401-402

Psychoanalysis of Today: Edited by S. Nacht. (American Adaptation by Ruth Emma Roman.) New York and London: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1959. 228 pp.

Review by:
Jacob A. Arlow

To render a fair account of this book is well-nigh impossible. The translator's note informs us that it is a condensation of the first two volumes of L'Actualité psychanalytique, a collection of studies published under the direction of Dr. Nacht by the Bibliothéque de l'institut de psychanalyse de Paris. These two volumes contained sixteen chapters of which eight were chosen, condensed, and translated. How well they reflect the thinking of the original authors is difficult to tell. The book has an overly condensed feeling (telescoped might be the more appropriate term). The first chapter, Indications and Contraindications for Psychoanalysis of Adults, by S. Nacht and S. Lebovici, may serve as an illustration. The entire subject is dealt with in eighteen pages in terse, outlined paragraphs. The reader, it seems from the tone of the text, is expected to know either a great deal about psychoanalysis or nothing at all. It is hard to decide for which audience this book was written. The absence of a preface aggravates this problem.

The book has neither index nor bibliography. In several of the chapters occasional bibliographic references appear as footnotes, but for the most part authors are quoted with no indication of the source of the reference.

The sections, Psychoanalytic Therapy (S. Nacht) and Psychoanalysis and Neurobiology (De Ajuriaguerra, R. Diatkine, and J. Garcia Badaracco), are striking and interesting in their novel approach to fundamental problems in the theory and technique of psychoanalysis.

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