[THE SOVIET APPROACH TO THE MENTAL SUGGESTION] Zhizn’ organizma i vnusheniye [i.e. The Life of the Organism and the Method of Suggestion]
Moscow: Gos. izd-vo, 1927. Item #995
175 pp. 16,1x23,8 cm. In original publisher’s wrappers. Tears of the spine, minor wear to the extremities, first 16 pages detached, Soviet bookshop’s stamp on the rear wrapper. Otherwise in a good condition.
First edition. Scarce.
A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY OF THE MENTAL SUGGESTION AND ITS IMPACT ON THE LIFE OF THE HUMAN ORGANISM WRITTEN BY THE FAMOUS SOVIET SEXOLOGIST AND FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF MARXIST NEUROPSYCHOLOGISTS, ARON ZALKIND (1888-1936). In the early years of the October Revolution, Zalkind was considered the main promoter of Freudian theories. However, from the mid-1920s, he was forced to publicly repent of his “connections” with Freudianism and seek alternative ideas in psychoanalysis. Zalkind invented an innovative approach to the mental suggestion based on the work of Paul Dubois, Joseph Dejerine, Martsinvosky, and Freud. The psychologist brought the theories of the aforementioned figures into line with psychotherapy and Pavlov’s conditioned reflexes and developed a synthesized theory of the treatment of mental suggestions. In accordance with Zalkind, the human organism contains a vast body of disorganized possibilities that can be restored using measures of conditioned reflexes and psychotherapy, with both directed at creating a healthy sense of purpose. The Soviet State unanimously accepted Zalkind’s theory, which perfectly corresponded to the goal of creating a new, strong, and determined Soviet man.
Published in 1927, this book is the first comprehensive edition shedding light on Zalkind’s newly developed approach. The publication can be divided into 3 sections. The first section documents different theories of mental suggestion and offers an insight into Aron’s synthesized concept. The second section features an interesting analysis of Lenin as a psychophysiological type. The third and the final section provides a list of literature used by the author.
A Director of the Psychological Institute of Moscow, Zalkind went down in the history of the Soviet Union as one the main advocates of paedology (a study of children’s behavior and development). He is also widely known as the author of Twelve Sexual Commandments for the Revolutionary Proletariat that promoted sexual control and defined sexual behavior of the Proletariat. Zalkind penned numerous writings, among which most famous are Osnovnyye voprosy pedologii [i.e. The Main Issues of Paedology] in 1927, Polovoye vospitaniye [i.e. Sex Education] in 1928, Psikhonevrologicheskiye nauki i sotsialisticheskoye stroitel’stvo [i.e. Psychoneurological Sciences and Socialist Construction] in 1931.