Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 20, Number 39
Featured Reviews
The Philosophy of Living by François JullienThe Philosophy of Living
by François Jullien
Tue, Jun 14th 2016
Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood by Ann C. Crouter, Alan Booth, Anastasia Snyder (Editors)Romance and Sex in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood
by Ann C. Crouter, Alan Booth, Anastasia Snyder (Editors)
Tue, Jun 14th 2016
The Trolley Problem Mysteries by F.M. KammThe Trolley Problem Mysteries
by F.M. Kamm
Tue, Jun 14th 2016
The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche
The Quest for Identity, 1844-1869
By Daniel Blue
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Sep 20th 2016.
The Making of Friedrich Nietzsche by Daniel BluePlease imagine this conversation between Plato and Nietzsche. Plato has just finished reading Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil. He paces the room. Herr Nietzsche is sitting ceremoniously on the brown couch, stroking his mustache. Plato closes the book and smirks… — A free spirit is… Plato says. — No Plato. Nietzsche interrupts. They are not like those philosophers in the cave. Free spirits do not believe in all that otherworldly Scheiße. — For Zeus sake Herr Nietzsche. Relax now. A free spirit is… at the top of the hierarchy. — Yes, at t
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Life Reimagined
The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife
By Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Review by Lynne Trevisan, D. C. on Tue, Sep 20th 2016.
Life Reimagined by Barbara Bradley Hagerty The book begins with the author describing what it felt like to have a heart attack scare, with her father's passing the night the author was in the hospital with that heart attack scare.  It is a poignant moment and sets a nice tone to the rest of the book, clearly showing how the passing of the last person in the eldest generation of a family changes the way the next generation perceives their own mortality.  In the first chapter, Bradley Hagerty talks about three major themes for midlife: being actively engaged in meaningful activities, focusing on purposeful actions and long-term
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The Nordic Theory of Everything
In Search of a Better Life
By Anu Partanen
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 20th 2016.
The Nordic Theory of Everything by Anu PartanenPartanen is a Finnish journalist who met an American man and moved to the USA to be with him. She loved many aspects of life in America, but she also found much of what she experienced puzzling.  While people believe in the idea that there should be social mobility, the structure of society is set up to make it more difficult to rise up from one's economic class to become more financially secure or well off. Life in the Scandinavian countries gives its citizens more opportunities to pursue their dreams and live how they want. Partanen traces back to what she calls the Nordic Theory of Lov
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Every Exquisite Thing
By Matthew Quick
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 20th 2016.
Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew QuickThis YA novel is about the power of stories for some teens and coping with horrible events. Nanette O'Hare is a smart student who does not have any real friends at first. She briefly befriends a teacher who recommends she reads an old classic of teen angst, The Bubblegum Reaper. They bond over this book, but then she tries to kiss the teacher, and he stops talking to her. But Nanette also comes to know the author of her favorite novel, a man called Nigel Wrigley Booker, and he provides her with some understanding of the world in a friendly way.  Booker introduces Nanette to a talented but
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By Julia Leigh
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 13th 2016.
Avalanche by Julia LeighJulia Leigh, now in her forties, sets out her experience of trying and failing to have a child using assisted reproductive services. It's a tale of almost unremitting unhappiness as she persists in pursuing a child with the cooperation of doctors willing to take her money. She gets rejected by the man she gets into a brief marriage with, and then finds another man to donate sperm for her attempts. She started her attempts at the age of 38 and kept on going with ever diminishing chances of success, and despite many people close to her being uncomprehending or frankly unsupportive of her attempt
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Parents and Digital Technology
How to Raise the Connected Generation
By Suzie Hayman and John Coleman
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Sep 13th 2016.
Parents and Digital Technology by  Suzie Hayman and John ColemanIn Parents and Digital Technology: How to raise the connected generation, Suzie Hayman and John Coleman provide a guide for parents who are struggling to keep up with their children's use of technology and social media. Many parents feel that they do not have the skills necessary to understand what their children are doing online, and many are worried that their children's use of digital technology not only supersedes their own, but that their children are on their phones, tablets and computers too much, as well as that their children may not be safe when using digital technology. Therefore, H
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By Teddy Wayne
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 13th 2016.
Loner by Teddy WayneTeddy Wayne's third novel features a college student David Federman in his first year at Harvard who obsessively follows fellow student Veronica Morgan Wells, who is a feminist and who only seems to tolerate him even when she allows him to get closer to her. The book is more of a campus novel than a psychological portrait, but it is still striking as a depiction of a young man who wavers between moral nihilism, narcissism, and misguided moralism. The real reason to keep reading it is not for any insight it provides, or even for any commentary on modern campus politics, but rather for the styli
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Beautiful Wreck
Sex, Lies & Suicide
By Stephanie Schroeder
Review by Kaolin on Tue, Sep 13th 2016.
Beautiful Wreck by Stephanie Schroeder I just finished the memoir Beautiful Wreck, Sex, Lies & Suicide by queer feminist writer, mental health advocate, & activist for social and economic justice, journalist Stephanie Schroeder and finished it in 1 read: Could not put it down. Schroeder stunningly exposes the reader to her experience of undiagnosed bipolar disorder, walks us through the diagnosis and on-going impact it had upon her self-esteem while informing us of the vigilance and self-care required to cope as one integrates treatment as a life-long thread of continuity offering to ensure her wellness. Extremely sensiti
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Philosophy and Psychiatry
Problems, Intersections and New Perspectives
By Daniel D. Moseley and Gary Gala (Editors)
Review by Anya Daly on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
Philosophy and Psychiatry by  Daniel D. Moseley and Gary Gala (Editors)Philosophy, psychiatry and avoiding ‘real mischief’   "What is Dr. Monro? A mad-doctor; and pray what great matter is that? What can mad-doctors do? Prescribe purging, physic, letting of blood, a vomit, cold bath, and a regular diet?  How many incurables are there?... physicians …. are often poor helps; and if they mistake the distemper, which is not seldom the case, they do real mischief." Alexander Crudden, The Adventures of Alexander the Corrector, London 1754 [Quoted by Andrew Scull at the beginning of his chapter "The mad-doctor and his craft", in The Ins
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Ordinarily Well
The Case for Antidepressants
By Peter D. Kramer
Review by Elizabeth A. Throop, Ph.D., on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
Ordinarily Well by Peter D. Kramer In Ordinarily Well: The Case for Antidepressants, psychiatrist Peter D. Kramer presents an exhaustively researched history of the development of antidepressants. Tracing the beginnings of antidepressants in 1950s Switzerland and bringing us to the present day, Kramer intersperses a close examination of drug trials and the scientific method with personal reminiscences and tales from his own practice. He concludes, not at all surprisingly, that antidepressants are profoundly life-changing for a wide variety of people. Kramer begins by confessing that, during his medical training and for the ear
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The Origins of Fairness
How Evolution Explains Our Moral Nature
By Nicolas Baumard
Review by Michael Klenk on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
The Origins of Fairness by Nicolas BaumardWho hasn't got a view about tax policies? Or on reproductive rights? As Nick Enfield puts it in the foreword to Origins of Fairness "we are seldom in doubt as to what should be done" but it remains mysterious where this "sense of right and wrong come[s] from." Nicolas Baumard defends the view that morality originates in a sense for mutual benefit and tries to show that such a view has credible naturalistic underpinnings. Baumard's central thesis is that morality is based on an innate and universal moral sense that follows a 'mutualistic' logic: it balances out self-interest and the interest
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"Guns Don't Kill People, People Kill People"
And Other Myths About Guns and Gun Control
By Dennis A. Henigan
Review by Bob Lane on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
The issue of guns in America causes people in other parts of the developed world to look at our country and shake their heads. – from the Prologue [Full disclosure, or what does the reviewer think about gun control? Go here, here, here, here] Why the head shaking? Because every few months we, in other countries, see the President of the USA asking the US Congress for some legislation to stop the slaughter of citizens – to no avail. Mass shootings bring about but one thing; an increase in gun sales. Why? The NRA. For example, the ten-year ban on military assault weapons (Brady Bi
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It Takes One
By Kate Kessler
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Sep 6th 2016.
It Takes One by Kate KesslerAudrey Harte is a forensic psychologist who lives in Los Angeles and is a TV crime celebrity-expert. She returns to Maine to see her old best friend Maggie. The two women were close as young girls, and Audrey stood by her friend when she saw the girl's father sexually abusing her.  The girls then killed Maggie's father. The day after they reunite, Maggie turns up dead. Audrey's short visit turns into a long stay as she can't leave due to being a suspect and also keen to solve the crime herself. Her shared history with Maggie means that not everyone in the small town is welcoming to her. A
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Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics
Volumes 1 and 2
By John Z. Sadler, Werdie (C.W.) Van Staden, K.W.M. (Bill) Fulford (Editors)
Review by James Kow on Tue, Aug 30th 2016.
Oxford Handbook of Psychiatric Ethics by  John Z. Sadler, Werdie (C.W.) Van Staden, K.W.M. (Bill) Fulford (Editors)This formidable two volume work comprises ten sections of ninety-four articles.  And these two volumes have as their  "sister volume, the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry." (Eds. K. W. M. Fulford, M. Davies, R. G. Gipps, G. Graham, G. Stranghellini and T. Thorton, Oxford University Press 2015 (Hereafter PP), which has eight sections in one volume comprising seventy three articles and 1291 pages. These works are part of the Oxford series dealing with "International Perspectives in Philosophy and Psychiatry" in an inter-disciplinary manner. To assist the reader the PP has a
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Motivation and Cognitive Control
By Todd S. Braver (Editor)
Review by Roy Sugarman PhD on Tue, Aug 30th 2016.
Motivation and Cognitive Control by  Todd S. Braver (Editor) If you find it odd to combine these two facilities, then think of this: we might regard a person who does not focus ardently and diligently as someone who lacks motivation, in other words the zeal or drive to focus. We could engage in conjecture, or look to cognitive science, which this work does, focusing on control processes as well as goal-directed behavior. Psychology and in particular assessment and therapy hate a passive patient. The sine qua non for these is the active and engaged, focused subject who does their best, by which we mean they direct their available attentional focus at th
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