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Introduction to Psychiatry

Jane E. Oltman, MD
JAMA. 1964;190(3):254-255. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03070160078033.
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A textbook which reaches its third edition within eight years is obviously meritorious. The authors' avowed intention to present a basic psychiatric text oriented along psychoanalytic lines has been successfully fulfilled. The organization of the book follows classical lines: several preliminary chapters devoted to a brief review of psychiatric history, discussion of personality development and mental mechanisms, and history-taking and examination precede a clinical presentation of the neuroses, personality problems, and psychoses; this is followed by a section devoted to therapy. There are also two chapters on child psychiatry and mental retardation.

In this book, description and interpretation go hand in hand. The section devoted to the neurotic reactions and personality disorders is admirable. Couched in clearly enunciated psychoanalytic terms which the student can comprehend, it imparts clarity and understanding to a difficult field. This field is obviously hallowed ground to the authors; they have tilled and nurtured it with


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