Dr. Fredric Wertham and the Politics of Psychiatry in the Interwar Years
This chapter shows Wertham’s contribution to psychiatric knowledge and therapeutic techniques. In particular, it describes the three major phases of Wertham’s life that led him to cofound the Lafargue Clinic. The first phase centers on his youth and education in Germany and England, before and after the Great War; the second encompasses his experiences in Adolf Meyer’s Phipps Psychiatric Clinic in Baltimore and his sojourn back to Germany in 1930–32, the very moment of the Nazi Party’s ascendance; and the third phase revolves around Wertham’s time in New York City, as he entered the fields of criminal psychopathology and forensic psychiatry, and developed his own brandof social psychiatry while working in the psychiatric clinic of the Court of General Sessions.
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