The author's stated purpose is "to give a thorough, systematic, lucid, and objective description of the theory and technique of psychoanalysis as developed by Freud and his disciples." He does not attempt to defend or prove Freud's ideas, but simply presents them. Historical data, though sketchy, is used skillfully, usually setting the background for the exposition, and never interfering with it.
The book is divided into two parts: The first deals with the theory of psychoanalysis, and the second its practice. The text is readable, intelligible, and comprehensive. Although it does not convey an appreciation of the variations, different emphases, and outright controversies that have arisen, it avoids a rigid and dogmatic presentation, and thus seems an ideal textbook. The writing is objective and does not make judgments.
The brief summaries of the contributions of Anna Freud, Hartmann, Erikson, and Alexander and French are good, and