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Meyer, B.C. (1968). Friendship and Fratricide. An Analysis of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss: By Meyer A. Zeligs, M. D. New York: The Viking Press, Inc. 476 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 37:448-452.

(1968). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 37:448-452

Friendship and Fratricide. An Analysis of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss: By Meyer A. Zeligs, M. D. New York: The Viking Press, Inc. 476 pp.

Review by:
Bernard C. Meyer

To the enlarging gallery of psychoanalytic portraits of creative and historical personages Dr. Zeligs' study of Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers presents an important and a bold addition: important in that it represents a conscientious and a serious attempt to apply the tools of psychoanalysis to a memorable chapter in history; bold in its endeavor—despite the author's disclaimer—to establish such crucial issues as truth and falsehood, guilt and innocence in this passionate drama of our times. Clearly the product of a prodigious expenditure of earnest labor and painstaking thought, Friendship and Fratricide evokes both admiration and respect. As a tightly written chronicle of that drama and of the strange liaison between its two principal characters it commands the fixed and attentive fascination of the reader throughout its four hundred fifty closely written pages. In its attempted inquiry into the subsurface forces that motivate human action it serves as an eloquent reminder that history is fashioned by men whose behavior is often determined by factors far more complex and subtle than simple conscious resolve and brightly illumined reason. How successful Zeligs has been in emphasizing this truth is problematical.

It

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