Subtitled ""An Evaluation of Psychiatric Thought and Practice from Prehistoric Times to the Present,"" this is an even-tempered, substantial history of the diagnosis and treatment of man's mental ills through the ages. The Mesopotamians were first to describe diseases; the Egyptians applied incubation sleep and occupational therapy; there was a hospital for the mentally ill in Jerusalem in A.D. 490. The humane treatment of the insane during the classic era gave way to persecution for witchcraft during the late Middle Ages. The scientific advances of the seventeenth century opened the way to modern psychiatry, which came into its own when Freud offered ""the first comprehensive theory of personality based on observation"" two centuries later. Franz Alexander was a major participant in the psychoanalytic movement, and his explanation of Freud's ideas, the movement he spearheaded, and the men who followed or fell away, is clear. Recent developments, notably in drug therapy, are dealt with more technically, and there is consideration of therapy for children, the problem of schizophrenia, the part of philosophy in psychiatric thought, psychiatry and the law. Appendices inform on the founders of the A.P.A., on Jung's relation to the National Socialists (a curious addendum), etc. The volume as a whole is easily accessible, informative at an intermediate level, and definitely directed to the general reader. It is an inclusive rather than in-depth treatment.