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(1934). Set The Children Free! By Fritz Wittels, M.D. Published by W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1933. Pp. 242. Price $275.. Psychoanal. Rev., 21(4):468.

(1934). Psychoanalytic Review, 21(4):468

Set The Children Free! By Fritz Wittels, M.D. Published by W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1933. Pp. 242. Price $275.

A very interesting book dealing with the problems of childhood from the point of view of a psychoanalyst. In a few words the thesis of the book might be conceived to be that children will grow in proportion as they are left alone and not interfered with by the parents. Of course the author understands the controversial matter of many of the issues and how little we know of certain aspects of this very complex problem, but he is inclined to believe, as the title indicates, that the children need to be free-at least from interferences, prejudices, anxieties, ambitions, and various other blocking qualities which the adults may exercise over them. There is no inherent reason why any adult, parent notwithstanding, should be able to tell what is best for the child from the very beginning. Each individuality is unique and presents unique possibilities, and its unfold-ment is rendered more complete by an absence of interference.

The author brings forward many illustrations from his personal experience which are illuminating, and in the latter part of the book cites some cases rather extensively which go to prove the really malignant character of some of the problems that are involved. It is the sort of book that every parent might well ponder over. This matter of bringing up children is not a thing any longer to be left to the selfish devices of ignorance. The welfare of future generations is too precious a heritage to be bungled as it has been in the past.


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