Mental Health: Fact and Fiction

VARNEY, Harold Lord

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New York: American Mercury, 1957. 12mo. Wraps. 12 p. [16273]


"History presents few parallels for the swift and sensational rise of mental health to the forefront of American public discussion. The movement which Clifford Beers launched obscurely fifty years ago, on the momentum of his best-seller, 'The Mind Which Found Itself,' has become an egg-head 'must.' It is now disputing 'world government,' 'integration,' 'civil liberties,' 'global planning' and other rapt enthusiasms of the American Left for first place in national agitation." Varney is uneasy about the potential political uses of this newly popular movement. He sees something sinister in the questioning of Whittaker Chambers' mental health. Furthermore, he says that Ezra Pound was victimized by his incarceration in an "insane asylum" after "his highly individualized convictions led him to take the Mussolini side in World War II" and to commit "alleged war-time offenses" (the former Wobbly is careful to avoid the word "treason").

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