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Psychology, Psychotherapy, and Parapsychology
Record Type: Review   ID: 1285

Gardner Murphy: Integrating, Expanding and Humanizing Psychology

Murphy, Lois Barclay

 This is psychologist Lois B. Murphy's biography and tribute to her husband Gardner Murphy who, when he won the 1972 Gold Medal Award of the American Psychological Association, was recognized as "a peerless teacher, a felicitous writer, and eclectic psychologist of limitless ranges" (p. 3). Part I, "Orientation," describes his years as a psychologist from 1920-1972 and pays tribute to his role as a teacher. Part II contains 8 chapters on his childhood and youth. Part III chronicles his years in New York at Columbia University and at City College, the development of his theory of personality and his involvement in parapsychology, which was centered at the American Society for Psychical Research. Part IV, "A Wider World," consists of 6 chapters involving his work at the Menninger Foundation and a UNESCO project in India. The final part, "And Beyond," contains two chapters: "The Death of a Humanist" and "Gardner's Legacy." The last sentences of each provide a feel for their contents: "As Lester Luborsky predicted, he `died with his boots on' and with a transcendent spirit" (p. 300) and "His legacy is more than that of a professional psychologist; it is the legacy of a man who loved life and lived it with a creative courage and gentle warmth that inspires younger generations" (p. 304). There are copious notes for each chapter. This is not only a meticulously researched and scholarly document; it is a very moving and humane testimonial to a man who represented the essence of humanity, including an enriched sense of transcendence.
Publisher Information:Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 1990. 414p. Bibl: 375-394; Chap.bibl: 305-374; 38 illus; Index: 395-414
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