The first third of the book is a review of the history of psychosomatic medicine from the earliest days of metaphysics down to the more recent days of metaphysics. After criticizing Cartesian mind-body dualism throughout the first chapter, the authors write the following clause in the second chapter, "... Freud, who drew our attention to the mighty influence which the psyche has in the soma." The book is a survey, not a critical analysis. Anecdotes, quotations from philosophers and commentators, unique cases, and carefully done experiments are all assigned equal weight.
The second third of the book describes in great detail the literature on psychological and sociological variables in rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and duodenal ulcer. Part of this is quaint; the only definition of rheumatoid arthritis quoted in the book attributes the disorder to "focal infection." Part induces despair. Paper after paper presenting case studies of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and