A History of Psychology in Letters / Edition 2

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The private thoughts, emotions, hopes, and frustrations contained in this collection of letters written by key figures in psychology provide rich insight into the development of the field. From John Locke writing parenting advice in 17th century Holland to Kenneth B. Clark responding to the impact of his research on the 19th century Brown v. Board decision, this book illustrates the history of the psychology in a direct, engaging manner.

  • Uses primary source materials to provide students with a unique view of the story of psychology.
  • Features an introduction to historiography, focusing on how historians use manuscript collections in their work.
  • Includes chapter-opening material that explains the historical context, brief annotations to help clarify the content, and an epilogue that concludes these important stories in psychology.
  • The second edition adds new annotations by Benjamin, giving greater life and dimension to the learning about the people and ideas that have influenced the development of psychology.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A novel and interesting approach to the history of psychology." Network Review

“Texts on the history of psychology sometimes tend to be dusty and dry. A History of Psychology in Letters delivers excitement in a way that few texts can-by enabling readers to peek in on the original letters sent by the great leaders in the history of the field. So one learns about history in the most exciting way possible - through the leaders' own words. The text carefully intersperses the letters with narrative to make them cohere and flow in a seamless way. I highly recommend the book to anyone. Even those who thought the history of psychology to be boring will find great excitement in the pages of this book.” Robert J. Sternberg, Tufts University

"The first edition of this book gave teachers a uniquely powerful tool to improve their students' grasp of the complexities of psychology's history and to introduce them to the processes and pleasures of research about the past.This second edition adds new and insightful chapters on several significant episodes in the history of psychology, such as Hugo Munsterberg's early involvement with the psychology of law and Kenneth Clark and the Brown v. Board decision. A new introductory chapter makes more explicit than ever before the ways in which (and the reasons why) historians delve into psychology's past." Michael M. Sokal, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405126113
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/17/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 0.63 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 6.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Ludy T. Benjamin, Jr. is Professor of Psychology and Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University and is holder of the Glasscock Professorship and a Presidential Professorship in Teaching Excellence. His numerous publications include From Séance to Science: A History of the Profession of Psychology in America (with David Baker, 2004), A History of Psychology: Original Sources and Contemporary Research (edited, second edition 1997), and A Brief History of Modern Psychology (forthcoming from Blackwell).

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Table of Contents



1. Reading Other People’s Mail: The Joys of Historical Research.

2. John Locke as Child Psychologist.

3. On the Origin of Species: Darwin’s Crisis of 1858.

4. John Stuart Mill and the Subjection of Women.

5. An American in Leipzig.

6. The Struggle for Psychology Laboratories.

7. William James and Psychical Research.

8. Hugo Münsterberg and the Psychology of Law.

9. A Woman's Struggles for Graduate Education.

10. Titchener's Experimentalists: No Women Allowed.

11. Coming to America: Freud and Jung.

12. The Behaviorism of John B. Watson.

13. Nazi Germany and the Migration of Gestalt Psychology.

14. A Social Agenda for American Psychology.

15. B. F. Skinner’s Heir Conditioner.

16. Kenneth B. Clark and the Brown v. Board Decision.



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