BALM IN GILEAD. Journey of a Healer

Reading: Addison - Wesley, (1988). First printing. Hardcover. This copy is inscribed by the author on the half-title page, to Helen Swick Perry (1911-2001). Perry, editor, researcher, and author, was hired by Harry Stack Sullivan in 1946 to assist with the enthusiastic response to the second series of William Alanson White Memorial Lectures (presented by Brock Chisholm). She became managing editor later that year, a post she held until 1955, when work on the posthumous series of Sullivan books precluded an ongoing commitment to Psychiatry. Helen built the journal into a self-sustaining enterprise, evident in a tripling of subscriptions and manuscript submissions. She is also widely respected for her definitive biography of Sullivan, Psychiatrist of America (1982), and for her matchless work with the posthumous Sullivan book series. She was a gifted author who used Sullivan's interpersonal approach to acquire new insights into social phenomena. Her 1954 Psychiatry paper was the first to apply the concept of selective inattention to international relations. (“Selective Inattention as an Explanatory Concept for U.S. Public Attitudes Toward the Bomb”). While doing research at Langley Porter Neuro-Psychiatric Institute she spent time as a participant-observer, analyzing the newly emerging “hippie” movement. The Human Be-In (1970) is still a highly regarded portrait of Haight-Ashbury. Her optimistic appraisal met something of the same star-crossed fate as the topic she addressed. The book release party coincided with the killings at Kent and Jackson State, a pivotal moment when peace and love were rapidly deteriorating into despair and hedonism. As for Sara Lawrence Lightfoot, this book is a personal memoir and biography of her mother Margaret Morgan Lawrence. Lightfoot, the MacArthur Prize winning sociologist, tells her mother's amazing story with both candor and passion. From girlhood in rigidly segregated Vicksburg, Mississippi, to a distinguished career as a child psychiastrist, Dr. Margaret Lawrence has overcome every obstacle facing black women in our time. After high school in Harlem, she entered Cornell, where, as the only black undergraduate at the time, she supported herself as a maid. From Columbia Medical School and pediatric residency at Harlem Hospital, she went to Nashville to teach at all-black Meharry Medical College, then returned to New York for work in public health under Benjamin Spock and training at the all-white and largely male Columbia Psychoanalytic Clinic. This stirring portrait is also a mirror to an extraordinary black family, tracing its legacy of preaching, teaching, and healing, as well as a legacy of sorrow; the pain of racism, the destructive hierarchies of skin color and gender which prevade black as well as white society. Myths and sterotypes surrounding black family life as exploded by Lightfoot. Above all, a romance, the story of an inspired marriage that lasted a half century and made the dreams of four generations. Illustrated from photographs. Short gift inscription dated 1989 on front endpaper. A near fine copy bound in green and cream cloth with copper stamping to spine in a near fine dust jacket. Item #14699

Price: $450.00

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