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Blank, H.R. (1984). The Course of Life. Psychoanalytic Contributions Toward Understanding Personality Development. Vol. I: Infancy and Early Childhood: Edited by Stanley I. Greenspan and George H. Pollock. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Mental Health, 1980. 660 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 53:293-300.

(1984). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 53:293-300

The Course of Life. Psychoanalytic Contributions Toward Understanding Personality Development. Vol. I: Infancy and Early Childhood: Edited by Stanley I. Greenspan and George H. Pollock. Washington, D.C.: National Institute of Mental Health, 1980. 660 pp.

Review by:
H. Robert Blank

The last twenty-five years has produced a mushrooming of research on personality development by psychoanalysts, psychiatrists, pediatricians, clinical and experimental psychologists, and others. The psychoanalytic contributions, beginning with those of Freud, have provided a wealth of useful knowledge on the subject, but they are scattered among different journals and books. The absence of an authoritative psychoanalytic reference work on personality development has posed a serious problem, especially for nonpsychoanalytic students and investigators, who tend to be misinformed about psychoanalysis and the large number of psychoanalysts engaged in research.

The Course of Life has solved the problem in splendid fashion. Under the auspices of the National Institute of Mental Health, the prodigiously industrious and creative editors, with some sixty additional contributors, have produced a reference work that will be valuable for many years to come. This appraisal is based on a reading of Volume I, supplemented by a generous sampling of Volumes II and III.

With few exceptions, the contents of Volume I range from very good to superb. Almost all the articles are original contributions. A number of the distinguished contributors are not psychoanalysts, but their work on the early stages of development, beginning with the fetus, is most relevant and challenging.

The volume begins with two overviews. The first is Anna Freud's "Child Analysis as the Study of Mental Growth (Normal and Abnormal).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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