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Richmond, W. (1935). Who Shall Survive? A New Approach to the Problem of Human Interrelations. By J. L. Moreno, M.D., with a Foreword by Dr. Wm. A. White. Washington, D. C.: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company, 1934. Pp. 437, with 100 colored charts. Price $4.00.. Psychoanal. Rev., 22(2):231-234.
(1935). Psychoanalytic Review, 22(2):231-234
Who Shall Survive? A New Approach to the Problem of Human Interrelations. By J. L. Moreno, M.D., with a Foreword by Dr. Wm. A. White. Washington, D. C.: Nervous and Mental Disease Publishing Company, 1934. Pp. 437, with 100 colored charts. Price $4.00.
Review by: Winifred Richmond
It is impossible to do justice to this extremely interesting and challenging piece of work within the limits of a review. To get its full meaning, to see the tremendous importance of what Dr. Moreno is driving at, one needs not only to read it carefully and give it thoughtful study, but to actually apply some of his tests, as the reviewer did, and to watch their working out within a group. Then it becomes apparent that here really is a method of observation of group reactions, or rather the reactions of individuals within the group, which not only throws light upon the personalities composing the group, but can aid in the arranging of people in communities so as to avoid a great part of the frictions and antagonisms which are the roots of much of our social disorder.
In his introductory chapter Dr. Moreno declares his work to be an experiment in the psychological planning of society, an attempt to devise a social set-up which would provide the individual an opportunity for spontaneous function on the level of his “natural state”; that is, on the level of his natural growth and free from indoctrination. On the face of it, at least in the present stage of human evolution, the result of such spontaneous behavior would be social chaos. But Dr. Moreno has devised a technique for the discovery of the affinities among individuals and the patterns resulting from their spontaneous interactions; these patterns then become his guides in the classification, construction, and reconstruction of groups, so that what threatened to be chaos becomes orderly and harmonious functioning. It is to the exposition of this technique, with illustrations of how it has worked in several experimental situations, that the bulk of the book is devoted.
A community, viewed as a whole, says the author, has a discernible psychological pattern; it is crossed and crisscrossed by psychological currents whose quantity and expansion can be discovered. To do this Dr. Moreno employs the sociometric test, which determines the position of the individual within each group to which he is functionally related.
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