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Ekstein, R. (1966). Science and Psychoanalysis, Vol. VII. Development and Research: Edited by Jules H. Masserman, M.D. New York: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1964. 296 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 35:289-290.

(1966). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 35:289-290

Science and Psychoanalysis, Vol. VII. Development and Research: Edited by Jules H. Masserman, M.D. New York: Grune & Stratton, Inc., 1964. 296 pp.

Review by:
Rudolf Ekstein

The late John Benjamin, that excellent and creative researcher in the field of psychoanalysis, once while summing up a psychiatric research conference characterized the different contributions through a salty anecdote about the phallic ambitions of little boys. Some, he suggested, express their urinary pride in hitting the target, while others prefer a style of self-expression that requires them to cover as wide an arc as possible. He then went on to divide the researchers into those who aim at a specific target and those who prefer that wide arc.

Dr. Masserman's eternal struggle against 'the thunderings of an already superannuated orthodoxy' leads him to believe that progress in psychoanalytic research comes from moving 'from freudian "metapsychology" to comprehensive modern concepts'. As we see what he includes in the new volume of this series, we perceive that he thinks the wide arc preferable to the target. The volume therefore has no focus but is an umbrella, including just about everything in the tradition of a tolerant eclecticism.

The book pursues no clear line of development, no specific topic, but rather seems to be a broad, eclectic psychiatric journal that covers everything from analytic theory to existentialism; from socio-psychological studies to animal and biologic studies; from dream studies to studies on vocal patterning; from clinical studies on therapy to comparisons of therapy and learning theory; from group training methods to hospital practice. The book even includes studies of the contributions of Anna Freud, Erikson, and Hartmann—contributors who have indeed remained in the analytic mainstream, perhaps thus expressing Masserman's diminished concern about that uncreative orthodoxy he pursues so lovingly or so hatingly.

[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.]

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