"Littlewood. . . looks at both Western and non-Western psychiatric phenomena within broader behavioral categories. . . Since psychiatrists and psychologists tend to focus on the more practical aspects of cross-cultural psychiatry, this title will find its most willing audience among cultural anthropologists. For academic and research libraries."Library Journal, June 2002
"Littlewood draws on more than two decades of international research to broaden the understanding of the dynamic interaction between culture and mental health. . . . Littlewood's discussion of culture-bound, local illnesses advances the sharing of anthropology and psychiatry. . . . Summing Up: Recommended."Choice, May 2003, Vol. 40, No. 9
"Roland Littlewood is already well known for his contribution to socially contextualised psychiatric literature, and his book not only reprises some themes, such as its cultural relativity and social construction, but takes them further by applying an anthropologist's eye to the West; this time we (the West) are the exotic, and very peculiar we seem too. . . . There are parts of this book that are quite irresistible. He charts a historical course drawing out the consistent inconsistencies of psychiatric nosology with a rather amused tone. "Isn't it all fascinating?" he seems to be saying. There are great strengths in the ways he blends together insights from other disciplines to situate psychiatry firmly within the expressions of cultural values and social mediation that define ourselves to ourselves."Mark Welch, Ph.D.
"This is a volume of interpretations by a gifted observer of clinical phenomena in relation to the sociocultural contexts in which they occur. Entertaining and, one suspects, often clinically useful, the interpretations reflect the erudition and experience of the interpreter."The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, March 2004, vol. 192, no. 3
Ainsztein (The Warsaw Ghetto Revolt), a BCC researcher specializing in Eastern Europe who died in 1981, was born in 1920s Wilno, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania). Although his early childhood was happy, as a Jew he soon experienced persecution by the Polish Catholic majority. At 16 he left his family (whom he never saw again) for university in Brussels but was forced to flee in 1940 without graduating when the Nazis occupied Belgium. This memoir is an account of his wartime experiences, often on foot, as he tried to elude capture by the Nazis or their supporters; he spent 14 months incarcerated in the Miranda de Ebro concentration camp in Fascist Spain and eventually saw wartime action as a turret gunner in a Lancaster bomber for the British Royal Air Force. A keen observer of human behavior, Ainsztein probes how we cope with extreme adversity and struggle with our seemingly innate need to subjugate one another. Although he experienced the worst in humanity, he also experienced the best. Ainsztein's eloquent account makes World War II very real; it is also unusual among Holocaust memoirs in recounting movement through Europe instead of life in the camps. Recommended for public libraries and military history collections. Ruth K. Baacke, Woodbury P.L., Highland Mills, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.