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Woltmann, A.G. (1973). The Elegant Prostitute: A Social and Psychoanalytic Study. Harold Greenwald. New York: Walker & Co., 1970. xxiii + 305 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 60:324-325.

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(1973). Psychoanalytic Review, 60:324-325

The Elegant Prostitute: A Social and Psychoanalytic Study. Harold Greenwald. New York: Walker & Co., 1970. xxiii + 305 pp.

Adolf G. Woltmann

When Greenwald, an NPAP past president, brought out his book Call Girl in 1958, his contribution was hailed as a landmark because it provided a deep psychological understanding of the women who ply their bodies. The book reviewed here is a revised and enlarged edition. The original text, fresh and timely as ever, is retained, but added are observations and brief studies carried out by the author while traveling abroad. A chapter on the hypnoanalysis of a prostitute, a case history, is also new.

The contents of this book, which served as the basis for a movie, are well known. What should be mentioned here are the ways and means through which Greenwald was able to win the confidence of these women. He did not try to make them change, but in analyzing their motivations he was able to stimulate insight and the consequent adoption of different modes of living. The detailed case histories attest to the fact that Greenwald conducted his therapy sessions in accordance with psychoanalytic theories and principles. However, in spite of the so-called psychoanalytic distance, the author was able to convey to his patients a warm, understanding, and accepting attitude. Value judgments in favor of the establishment would never have succeeded. These “elegant prostitutes” would never have stayed with him long enough though they were lonely, hungry for love, and driven by a desire to be accepted.

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