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Flugel, J.C. (1946). War, Crime and the Covenant: By Géza Róheim, with an introduction by A. A. Brill. (Journal of Clinical Psychopathology, Monograph Series No. 1, Medical Journal Press, Monticello, N.Y., 1945. Pp. v + 160. Price not indicated.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 27:159-161.

(1946). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 27:159-161

War, Crime and the Covenant: By Géza Róheim, with an introduction by A. A. Brill. (Journal of Clinical Psychopathology, Monograph Series No. 1, Medical Journal Press, Monticello, N.Y., 1945. Pp. v + 160. Price not indicated.)

Review by:
J. C. Flugel

Readers of Dr. Róheim's previous works will know in general what to expect of the present book. They will find all the usual wealth of brilliant intuition and profound erudition, but unfortunately—again as usual—these great qualities are not accompanied by a corresponding lucidity of exposition, so that the student not gifted with the author's nimbleness of mind (all the more amazing perhaps in view of the weight of learning that it carries) will sometimes be hard put to it to follow the trail along which Dr. Róheim would lead him—a trail which he himself pursues, apparently with little effort, through a vast undergrowth of facts brought together from the most varied sources, from his own observations in the field and the consulting room, from the data collected by other anthropologists, folklorists and psycho-analysts, from Biblical and classical mythology. In one important respect, however, there is a difference from some of his earlier works. This lies in the fact that his argument here is purely ontogenetic. All the facts to which he draws attention can, he thinks, be accounted for in terms of individual development and nowhere does he rely on phylogenetic explanations—this in striking contrast to his own earlier Australian Totemism or Freud's Moses and Monotheism.

Within this limitation, however, he is concerned with fundamentals, in the sense of influences that affect us at the very beginning of our existence as individual human organisms.

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