This monumental volume, the product of no less than two editors and 29 authors, aims in the words of the Preface "to present parenthood as a function of biology and... a tool of civilisation." Broadly, it succeeds in both aims, and is a useful consensus of current Freudian views on the problems of parenthood.
Curiously, 28 of the 29 authors deal only with parental reactions to the first child and make no mention of those aroused by the second and third, presumably because they feel that such problems would be essentially similar—though, here, Adler would not have agreed with them. Not that this would have worried most of these authors, who seem to be, with two or three exceptions, sublimely indifferent to—even unconscious of—any views outside the charmed circle of Freudian thought.
The book is divided into six parts, the sixth being a brief summing-up. The opening chapter of part