Metapsychology Online Reviews - Volume 18, Number 51
Featured Reviews
Guises of Desire by Hilda ReillyGuises of Desire
by Hilda Reilly
Tue, Nov 25th 2014
The Story Hour by Thrity UmrigarThe Story Hour
by Thrity Umrigar
Tue, Nov 18th 2014
Diagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by Rachel CooperDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
by Rachel Cooper
Tue, Nov 11th 2014
The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain
By Daniel J. Siegel
Review by Roy Sugarman, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 16th 2014.
Brainstorm by Daniel J. SiegelI am always amazed when I see parents negotiating with young children and then demanding complete compliance with teenagers. After all, young children need to be told what to do, whereas teenagers are only desperately trying to negotiate their autonomous progress in the world, and find their own voice. This is why the arborization and pruning of the teenage brain on its way to eventual young adult maturity is such an interesting time for both them and parents, and of course researchers such as Dan Siegel. Not just theoretical, Siegel regularly interfaces the book with sections of ‘Minds
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How We Hope
A Moral Psychology
By Adrienne Martin
Review by Marko Zlomislic on Tue, Dec 16th 2014.
How We Hope by Adrienne MartinAdrienne Martin begins her book How We Hope: A Moral Psychology with a poem from Yehuda Amichai who writes, "hope needs to be like barbed wire to keep out despair, hope must be a mine field." I was expecting Martin to develop the implications of Amichai's profound insights further but her book lacks the existential and psychological insights that would have developed what hope actually is. The focus on the book is on how we hope and not on what hope is. This method puts the proverbial cart before the horse. First we need to understand what hope actually is before we can analyze how it is tha
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Virtues of Thought
Essays on Plato and Aristotle
By Aryeh Kosman
Review by Diana Soeiro on Tue, Dec 16th 2014.
Virtues of Thought by Aryeh KosmanThis book presents us a collection of essays on Aristotle and Plato, having no particular thematic unity. Two immediate questions arise: Why is it relevant to publish a book on Aristotle and Plato in 2014? Does such a book only interest scholars, particularly ancient philosophy scholars, or is it able to grasp a more general audience? In his Introduction, Aryeh Kosman (John Whitehead Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus at Haverford College/ US), states that what all essays have in common is the intent of exploring "modes of human thought" (p.1). Though to start with, it may seem an abstract go
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Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
By Kirk Walker Graves
Review by John Hacker-Wright on Tue, Dec 16th 2014.
Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy by Kirk Walker GravesAs of this review, Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is the most recent album to receive treatment in Bloomsbury's 33 1/3 book series. Given the album's near universal critical acclaim and Kanye's broad notoriety, it is surely no mistake to think it deserves some level of attention. Kirk Walker Graves book promises a "theory of Kanye West" (8). It must be said that it is somewhat unclear what sort of theory this would be: psychological, sociological? Most likely it would fall in the interdisciplinary purview of "cultural studies." Yet Graves approaches Kanye through no sophisticat
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You Should Have Known
A Novel
By Jean Hanff Korelitz
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 16th 2014.
You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff KorelitzGrace Reinhart Sachs is a Manhattan psychotherapist living a life of wealth and privilege.  She lives in the same Park Avenue apartment that she has all her life, given to her by her father. Her husband Jonathan is a pediatric oncologist who saves lives and earns the lifelong gratitude of families, and he treats Grace very well, showering her with attention. They have a 12-year-old son Henry who attends an exclusive private school, giving him a wonderful education. Grace has a new book coming out, titled "You Should Have Known," which tells women that they have all the information they ne
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Character and Moral Psychology
By Christian B. Miller
Review by Carsten Fogh Nielsen, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 9th 2014.
Character and Moral Psychology  by Christian B. MillerCharacter and Moral Psychology and the companion volume Moral Character: An Empirical Theory (Oxford University Press, 2013) represents the most sustained and comprehensive philosophical attempt to examine and evaluate the implications of contemporary empirical moral psychology for moral theory. Christian B. Miller has read just about all current philosophical papers, books and psychological studies concerned with "moral character" and uses his extensive knowledge of the field to provide novel, conceptually sophisticated and empirically informed discussions of character traits,
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Psychosis and Emotion
The role of emotions in understanding psychosis, therapy and recovery
By Andrew I. Gumley (Editor), Alf Gillham, Kathy Taylor and Matthias Schwannauer (Editors)
Review by Valentina Petrolini on Tue, Dec 9th 2014.
Psychosis and Emotion by Andrew I. Gumley (Editor), Alf Gillham, Kathy Taylor and  Matthias Schwannauer (Editors)Psychosis and Emotions -- edited by Gumley, Gillham, Taylor and Schwannauer (2013) -- provides a thorough account of the state of the art in psychiatric practice, with a focus on the role played by emotions in the development and manifestation of psychosis. The volume consists of thirteen short essays exploring the issue from different angles, with key themes emphasized by various authors. Chapters 2 & 3 discuss the legacy of early psychiatry on contemporary research that tends to characterize schizophrenia as a disorder of affect (see Moskowitz and Heim; Garfield, Simon &am
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Kids Gone Wild
From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, Understanding the Hype Over Teen Sex
By Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle
Review by Hennie Weiss on Tue, Dec 9th 2014.
Kids Gone Wild by  Joel Best and Kathleen A. BogleDo teens today have sex at a younger age? Are they more promiscuous, more likely to have many different sexual partners, engage in various forms of sexual behavior not as common one or two generations ago? Is teen pregnancy more common? In short, have kids gone wild? Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle examine these claims through the lens of media coverage (talk shows, television news, online conversations, blogs and posts, movies and books) by focusing on rainbow parties, sex bracelets and sexting. Best and Bogle describe how media often fuel the fire when it comes to asserting that today's kids
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Anatomy of a Misfit
By Andrea Portes
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 9th 2014.
Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea PortesAnatomy of a Misfit is an odd book, combining a smart-mouthed and irreverent narrator, Anika, with a story of child abuse.  This is a young adult novel that might be too much for some teens. The adult themes also include stealing from work and drugging her boss, and the sex lives of Anika's friends.  There are some curse words early on, but not many in most of the rest of the book. Anika is an entertaining teen with many insights into school life and all the gossip that goes with it.  She is the third most popular girl in school, and she manages that by being friends with t
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Mindful Anger
A Pathway to Emotional Freedom
By Andrea Brandt
Review by Wendy C. Hamblet, Ph.D. on Tue, Dec 2nd 2014.
Mindful Anger by Andrea BrandtPsychotherapist Andrea Brandt's new book (2014), Mindful Anger: a pathway to emotional freedom, grabs your emotional attention--your gut--from the opening pages, as she describes the painful multigenerational legacy of anger suppression that stunted her childhood capacity for happiness and carried forward into her adult relationships. It is a common enough story, which is why it rings so true, reminding the reader of the harms that parents do their children and the enormous challenge of identifying those harms, let along confronting and overcoming them. The story also plays on our fears as par
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The Firmament of Time
By Loren Eiseley
Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Dec 2nd 2014.
The Firmament of Time by Loren EiseleyThe Firmament of Time is another book by Loren Eiseley [review of TheStar Thrower] that is worth reading again for anyone interested in ideas, science, the humanities and, well, life itself! Eiseley is a special writer who was/is able to bring together in a cohesive whole ideas from the sciences and emotions and feelings from the humanities. It consists of six lectures he delivered when he was a Visiting Professor of Science at the University of Cincinnati way back in 1959. In a foreword he tells readers that the "purpose of the lectures was to promote among both students and the general publi
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It's Kind of a Funny Story
By Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (Directors)
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Dec 2nd 2014.
It's Kind of a Funny Story by Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (Directors)Based on the young adult novel by Ned Vizzini, It's Kind of a Funny Story is about a teen put into an adult psychiatric hospital. Craig lives in New York with his high achieving family and his father is putting a lot of pressure on him to be successful, but he is not reacting to it well. In a night of desperation he goes to the ER and says he wants to kill himself. He is admitted to a hospital for several days, which is much longer than he expected. He meets a colorful cast of characters who are in crisis. One of them is the quirky but desperate Bobby (played by Zach Galifianakis). There's als
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Moral Imagination
By David Bromwich
Review by Bob Lane, MA on Tue, Nov 25th 2014.
Moral Imagination by David BromwichDavid Bromwich is Sterling Professor of English at Yale University who has written widely on language and politics, language and power. The epigram to the current book comes from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, "Th'abuse of greatness is when it disjoins/ Remorse from power. That seems to strike the perfect tone for the dozen essays that follow. Remorse, of course, means deep and painful regret for wrongdoing; and is an internal emotion, a strong feeling based on a sense of right and wrong. We are learning in this century that feelings of right and wrong may indeed be like other innate faculties t
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The Ethics of the Family
By Stephen Scales, Adam Potthast, and Linda Oravecz (Editors)
Review by Christian Perring on Tue, Nov 25th 2014.
The Ethics of the Family by Stephen Scales, Adam Potthast, and Linda Oravecz (Editors)This large edited collection has 432 pages.  It starts with a one-hundred page introduction to moral theory and its relevance to family ethics, written by the editors. It is followed by 24 papers by academics from a variety of kinds of department; most are in philosophy by several are in sociology, law, or communication.  The papers are based mainly on conferences papers from the 10th International Conference on Ethics Across the Curriculum: "The Ethics of the Family".  This collection has some interesting papers, some useful papers, and some that are worth skipping. It is unl
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Depression Doesn't Always Have to Be Depressing
By James R. Holmes
Review by Elin Weiss on Tue, Nov 25th 2014.
Depression Doesn't Always Have to Be Depressing by James R. Holmes Written in the style of a self-help book, Depression Doesn't Always Have to Be Depressing by the late author James R. Holmes, attempts to provide answers to the question of why we get depressed. Holmes uses a theory of loss of status as the major reason to depression rather than explaining depression using theories of chemical or hormonal imbalances. Therefore, a person's status and place in the world is key in understanding depression and why we become depressed. Depression, thereby, is primarily the result of changes in our place in the world. By status, Holmes does not necessarily mean s
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