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(1969). Light on Dark Corners. B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols. New York: Grove Press, 1967. vi + 247 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 56C(3):488-489.

(1969). Psychoanalytic Review, 56C(3):488-489

Light on Dark Corners. B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols. New York: Grove Press, 1967. vi + 247 pp.

This small volume, reprinted by the Grove Press, first appeared in 1894. It went through 41 printings and sold over one million copies. The last edition appeared in 1934 under the title of “Practical Eugenics.” Although the authors had high-minded intentions to tackle the problem of sex, it is now inconceivable that only a generation ago such claptrap could be printed and read.

This volume puts the woman on a pedestal (in line with American pioneer tradition) and castigates the unfeeling, harsh and rought sexual behavior of men. The logic implied in most of the statements is untenable and highly subjective. One reads, for example, “it is a long established fact that married persons are healthier than unmarried persons; thus it proves that health and happiness belong to the home.”

This book is brought to the attention of our readers because the parents of many of our patients, and many of our patients themselves were brought up in this unreal, bombastic and one-sided idealization of the American home, the American woman and motherhood. Typical of its time, the book addresses itself only to white Christians, to the exclusion of Jews, Negroes and other minorities.

Article Citation [Who Cited This?]

(1969). Light on Dark Corners. B. G. Jefferis and J. L. Nichols. New York: Grove Press, 1967. vi + 247 pp.. Psychoanal. Rev., 56C(3):488-489

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