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New Left Review I/17, Winter 1962

Tom Wengraf

Psychological Rethinking

The Myth of Mental Illness: Dr. T. Szasz. Secker and Warburg. 35s. 337 pp.

Towards the turn of the 19th century, Charcot and Freud instituted a major change in the classification of the sick and the well, when they assigned at least some of those previously described as “malingerers”—since no organic physiological cause for their behaviour could be found—to the ranks of the sick. This began a revolution in medical and lay thought, one which is still continuing today, a revolution in attitude towards people whose behaviour problems cannot be satisfactorily accounted for by organic conditions, and who are currently termed “the mentally ill”.

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