It is highly likely that psychiatric historians writing in the next century will characterize our knowledge of depression in the 1960's as having been promising and imaginative but also relatively unsystematic and beset by ideological differences. If this characterization turns out to be a valid one, current reviews of the field of depression are limited by significant constraints. Within the boundaries of these barriers Beck has performed a useful service for mental health professionals by presenting a reasonably well-integrated summary of salient evidence, inference, and opinion regarding depression. In addition to providing us with general information from an historical and contemporary perspective, this book leans heavily upon the experimental work carried out by the author and his colleagues. The admixture of broad survey and research report vitalizes the book and, on the whole, makes it more readable.
The focal point of Beck's contributions