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(1925). Love In Children And Its Aberrations. By Oskar Pfister. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1924. Price, †7.50. Pp. 576.. Psychoanal. Rev., 12(4):487-488.

(1925). Psychoanalytic Review, 12(4):487-488

Book Reviews

Love In Children And Its Aberrations. By Oskar Pfister. Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1924. Price, †7.50. Pp. 576.

This large volume of nearly 600 pages was presented by the author as a book written for parents and teachers and is a discussion of various aberrations of the love instinct in children, the way to deal with them and the proper methods which should be employed in bringing up and in educating them.

The book is introduced by an extensive survey of the history of the problem of love and then goes on to a description of the object of the work, its methods, its scope, and winds up with a discussion of love in children as treated in educational science. Part I deals with normal and abnormal development of the love in children, Part II with the formative forces and experiences, Part III with the training of love in children and the treatment of love's disorders.

The book is very extensive, unfortunately perhaps almost too large, for it will scare off a great many people who ought to read it, but it contains a mine of all sorts of information, and it is fully and freely illustrated with case material which is illuminative of the various points that are made.

The book is particularly timely. Parents and teachers are beginning to seek for the sort of information that is needed to give them adequate understanding of the children who are temporarily in their keeping. The author provides a vast fund of information and many things for such parents and teachers to think about.

At this particular time, when the Franks homicide case is being tried in Chicago and when the popular feeling in many quarters is running high and the mob is crying out for vengeance and using such well known formulæ as “Spare the rod and spoil the child” in order to rationalize their craving, it would be a wholesome thing if the advocates of this kind of naive philosophy could read what the author of this book says of corporal punishment, how he treats it as one of the agencies which produce harm, sometimes lasting harm, sometimes harm of a most serious nature, which trails through the years to come leaving its mark in all sorts of neurotic disturbances which impair the social efficiency of the individual and destroy happiness. Contrary to such foolish reiterations of a worn out and useless formula as “Spare the rod and spoil the child,” the author comes to his final conclusion in the last half dozen words of this volume and expresses it as follows: “Only love can lead to love.”

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