The major portion of the material in this book is taken from three "Messenger Lectures" at Cornell University, a series of lectures founded by Hiram Messenger of Hartford, Conn., for the purpose of providing annually a "course or courses of lectures on the evolution of civilization, for the special purpose of raising the moral standard of our political, business, and social life."
Dr. Menninger portrays the background of psychiatry's growth and development. Contents of the book are conveniently divided into three sections, the evolution and present status of psychiatry, contributions of psychoanalytic psychiatry to understanding of behavior and a discussion of the potential contributions of psychiatry to the present social order. The first chapter describes the early history of psychiatry, which set the stage for Freud and the present day dynamic interpretations of personality based on Freud's discoveries. Emphasis is given to revelation of existing psychiatric needs due to stresses