THE WESTERN MIND IN TRANSITION by

THE WESTERN MIND IN TRANSITION

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Alexander, as many people know, has been one of the pioneer figures in psychiatry, as Freud's disciple in Berlin where he trained, and evangelist in this country where he organized and directed the Chicago Psychoanalytic Institute for Twenty-five years. Part, the lesser part, of this book is autobiographical and discusses his formative years, and the selection of psychiatry as a synthesis of his major interests in science and philosophy which eventually led him to Freud's ""spiritual haven"". Most of the book, however, presents the psychologist as the ""historian of culture""- a contemporary culture which has shifted from the individual to the communal man, from the inner-directed to the outer-directed- extending on a larger scale to a global organization of nations which threaten national sovereignty. The psychological after effects of the scientific revolution have resulted in the sacrifice of the individual approach to the statistical; in art and literature the estrangement is even more apparent and ""a clear confession of resentful rejection""; and the existentialist despair is, psychologically, the result of the loss of ego- identity. This loss of personal identity, in a world which sees an ever increasing organization and standardization, is the most serious causative agent of the malaise of modern man (if not unhappiness, at any rate boredom). It is both a critique and a plea for the re-emergence of the individual, the ""cultivation of the uniqueness of personality"" which is the only positive, creative source. Rather demanding reading, for an oriented market.

Publisher: Random House