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Lieberman, J.S. (1990). The Forgotten Man Understanding the Male Psyche by Reuben Fine Current Issues in Psychoanalytic Practice, Vol. 3. New York: Haworth, 1987, xvi + 423 pp., $34.95. Psa. Books, 1(2):268-271.
(1990). Psychoanalytic Books, 1(2):268-271
The Forgotten Man Understanding the Male Psyche by Reuben Fine Current Issues in Psychoanalytic Practice, Vol. 3. New York: Haworth, 1987, xvi + 423 pp., $34.95
Review by: Janice S. Lieberman, Ph.D.
The Forgotten Man: Understanding the Male Psyche was published in the journal, Current Issues in Psychoanalytic Practice, Vol. 3, Nos. 2/3/4, 1986. Its style makes it more appropriate for a lay readership. It is written in prose that is a curious hybrid of fifth-grade history text polemic and People magazine gossip.
Fine complains that there are no Psychology of Men courses in our colleges and that men's issues have been forgotten. To compensate for this lack, he presents us with an encyclopedic array of ideas about men and endless vignettes of men's lives from many disciplines: psychoanalysis, psychology, history, mythology, biology, anthropology, sociology, etc. The book consists of five parts: Sexuality; Aggression; Social Role; Man as Victim or Persecutor; and Ten Discussion Papers by students or colleagues who admire Dr. Fine's work. The chapters have compelling, catchy titles, for example, “From Mama's Boy to Father's Rival,” “Don Juan's Exploits,” “Criminals Die Young,” and “Generals Die in Bed.”
Unlike the editor, Herbert Strean, who in his introduction compares this work to Helene Deutsch's Psychology of Women, this reader found a hodgepodge of “pop” psychology, speculation, and loose psychoanalytic conceptualizations strung together with little thought of the logical organization and continuity of ideas. It is an unfortunate mixture of ideas from disciplines that do need to have serious contact with one another. The reader is invited to a huge banquet. This reader went away with a combination of hunger and indigestion.
The author's personal dyspepsia is pervasive.
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