This slim volume is an excellent introduction to psychiatry. The title is a misnomer. The book is not a synopsis; nor does it deal merely with contemporary psychiatry. In this text theory is kept to a minimum. The material is organized into three general areas: history taking and diagnostic procedures, clinical syndromes, and therapeutic measures. The book is most helpful to the beginning medical student who wishes for a small reference book that will guide him through the maze of psychiatry. In some areas, such as therapy, the material is so condensed that the subject matter is reduced to a caricature. The volume fills a valuable need by presenting significant ideas and themes in a cogent outline. Some will find this book too simple, others too organic, and still others too psychoanalytic.