Russian Psychology: A Critical History

David Joravsky, Author Blackwell Publishers $34.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-631-16337-4
Joravsky's theme in this dense, panoramic survey is how the unbridled Russian soul plumbed by Tolstoy and Dostoyevski became straitjacketed by a simplistic faith in Pavlovian conditioning and Marxist-Leninist catechism. His book's title refers not only to the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience but also to the Russian mind as mirrored in literature and political ideology. By the late 1920s, Soviet Freudians fell into silence; the thought-control imposed by a Bolshevik elite abetted a Stalinist mentality that pervaded the psychiatric profession. According to the author, a historian at Northwestern University, political misuse of psychiatry in the U.S.S.R. has overshadowed the equally widespread, routine abuse of their own authority by Soviet psychiatrists. He probes the mentality of Soviet citizens for whom the memory of Stalin is as butcher and savior alike. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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