Psychiatric Newsletter. 26 (of 31) issues, 1948-50. John Leopold SIMON, ed.

Psychiatric Newsletter. 26 (of 31) issues, 1948-50

New York: Psychiatric Newsletter, 1948-50. First Edition. Twenty-six monthly issues, comprising: Vol. 1, no. 1 (April 1, 1948) through Vol. 3, no. 2 (May, 1950), with the following issues absent from the run: I:5; 1:7; II:5; II:13; III:3. Mimeographed, corner-stapled sheets; each issue ca. 6pp, printed both sides of sheet. Some mild edgewear and fading, but generally a well-preserved, fully intact set, Very Good or better.

Published without editorial or authorial credits, but our colleagues at Bolerium Books (San Francisco) have produced convincing evidence that Psychiatric Newsletter was the work of Dr. John L. Simon, a Lincoln Battalion veteran of the Spanish Civil War and NYU-trained clinical psychiatrist. This assertion is confirmed in a lengthy obituary of Simon on the website of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (see Cary Nelson, "John Leopold Simon," http://www.alba-valb.org/volunteers/john-leopold-simon). In addition to detailing Simon's meritorious service in the Spanish Civil War, the obituary's author supplies considerable detail about Simon's later career, which included legal defense for former Lincoln Brigade volunteers and pioneering medico-legal work in Puerto Rico in the late Fifties and early Seventies.

Simon's editorial intent is made clear in the Newsletter's inaugural issue: "...Many psychiatrists, as is well known, defend and support the working class as best they know how. To do this effectively, however, we psychiatrists must examine the theoretical premises on which our practical methods of treatment are based. In this Newsletter we hope...to make a useful contribution toward the orientation and especially, the re-orientation of psychiatric practice in the light of the principles of historical dialectical materialism, that is to say, the ideology of Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and their comrades..." As might be expected, Simon's views frequently put him at odds with his contemporary mainstream colleagues in the psychiatric profession, most notably Harry Stack Sullivan, to whom Simon repeatedly refers as a "phony" and a "reactionary." As no authorial credit is given for articles, we assume that Simon supplied most of the content.

Institutionally scarce, with only two catalogued holdings in OCLC (of which only one -- NYU's --- is complete; UC Davis holds a very partial run); a few more scattered examples appear in archival finding aids, including the Herb Romerstein archive at the Hoover Institution (Romerstein was an FBI anti-communist investigator who likely had Simon under surveillance, a possibility alluded to in Nelson's previously-cited obituary). Simon's papers are at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

Price: $650.00

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