PATHWAYS TO MADNESS by Jules Henry

PATHWAYS TO MADNESS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is a companion volume to the late Professor Henry's Culture Against Man (1963) which used data observed and interpreted in actual environmental situations rather than ""hard"" research which is then extended from the family to the broader cultural context. He spent 100 hours each with five families with at least one emotionally ill member and long before you reach his conclusion, you cannot have missed its implication that emotional deprivation and destitution exist almost everywhere. Henry was an anthropologist but he goes far beyond the discipline (this work was sponsored by Bruno Bettelheim and the Ford Foundation); and also beyond the particularized specifics of the families he annotated; he extends the discussion with prefatory essays on anger and its component-expressions, time and space, objects and people, sham which ""makes the undesirable useful and the necessary bearable,"" and other motifs in each configuration which might be discipline or power or neglect or love or delusion or food or achievement. Throughout there is the overarching theme that the culture shapes the individual who, in searching for his own self-renewal or just survival, then forfeits the child. If Henry finds ""little tenderness"" in what he observes, he also offers little hope and these people are seen in all their faulty relationships -- i.e., actions, inactions, submissions, mortifications, and collisions. One may have a guarded approach to some of this but Henry is an arresting writer, passionate and polemical, and he informs as he magnifies all these unhappy unalike families so that there are disturbing recognitions for everyone.

Pub Date: Jan. 6th, 1971
Publisher: Random House