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Meyer, B.C. (1946). Hahn, Eugene F. Stuttering—Significant Theories and Therapies. [Stanford University: Stanford University Press, 1943. Pp. 177. $2.]. Psychoanal. Rev., 33(2):250-251.

(1946). Psychoanalytic Review, 33(2):250-251

Hahn, Eugene F. Stuttering—Significant Theories and Therapies. [Stanford University: Stanford University Press, 1943. Pp. 177. $2.]

Review by:
Bernard C. Meyer, M.D.

This volume contains a compendium of the views of some twenty-five writers on the theoretical and therapeutic aspects of stuttering. Some of the articles are original; the remainder are approved digests prepared by Dr. Hahn. It is the author's purpose, he asserts, “to facilitate the study of the literature on stuttering by those interested in that problem who wish to make comparisons among various theories and therapies.” Granted that this may be of some academic value, the book cannot avoid providing the uninitiated reader with a sense of confusion and chaos, for despite the author's assertion that the “differences between therapies (are) more theoretical than real,” the differences between various theories of the cause and nature of stuttering are exceedingly broad and encompass such broadly divergent subjects as malnutrition, faulty metabolism, conflict between right and left cerebral hemispheres, bad habits, and emotional conflict. Throughout the volume two distinct orientations are presented: a neuro-physiologic and a psychologic, the former predominating. In fact, with the exception of perhaps four or five writers, the attention of most of the authors is directed toward the stutter, while the stutterer is well nigh forgotten. Most of these writers fail to acknowledge the self evident assertion of Fletcher that “speech is not a mere physiological act of vocal utterance. It is, on the contrary, a complex form of social intercourse.” It is unscientific and illogical to study the function of dysfunction of speech without a thorough knowledge and understanding of the speaker.

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