Dr. Alvarez, an internist for over 50 years, has- as a private avocation- collected a library of books dealing with various phases of mental illness, defined (marginal and variable as the distinctions are) in the opening chapter here. Most of his book however is made up of abstracts of these works, both in his words and in those of the originals, which emphasize and synthesize particular symptoms, reactions, manifestations of those who have recorded their own mental disturbance with remarkable memory and honesty. From famous writers' famous writings- Strindberg's The Confession Food Nijinsky's Diary. Nietzsche's My Sister and I, to the works of great religious thinkers- Anton Bolsen, William James, George Fox; to-more obviously- Clifford Beers' A Mind that Found Itself and Seabrook's Asylum, this includes a great many accounts of those who have experienced not only mental illness but hallucinations, mphobias, epilepsy, psychoanalysis, etc., etc. Dr. Alvarez to the contrary, one would not assume a professional audience for this, since his explanations and interpolations are at a simple and very accessible level of interest and understanding, and the tone is one of maximal optimism and reassurance.