10 JULY 1936, Page 34

THE POWER TO LOVE By Ediirin W. Hirsch The English

language is notoriously deficient in some respects, and the title of this book (John Lane, 12s. fid.) is a strilcing example. It conveys _a very vague impression, as one might easily think the work was a religious handbook on the beauty of charity. If Onelooked more closely, however, and saw it was a volume in Dr. Norman 'Haire's " Library of Sexology and Psychology," one would at once realise the euphemism of the title. As a matter of fact, the whole work

consists- of detailed advice- to- men on the physical side of marriage. Dr. Hirsch is a practising surgeon and urologist of Chicago, and a University lecturer of standing, so that his authority can scarcely be questioned. He comes to the conclusion from long experience of case-histories that the reason why so many marriages come to shipwreck is through physical difficulties. He also comes to the more important conclusion that these difficulties are rarely organic but nearly always caused by psychological worry, inhibition, or mal- adjustment: Here he seems to have laid hold of a truth, which surprisingly enough the majority of people do not seem to have grasped, judging from the thousand of requests for surgical aid he has received. But though his analysis of sexual fears and inhibitions is convincing enough, Dr. Hirsch does not provide a very satisfactory answer to one of the chief problems of civilised life. He gives a very careful account of how these psychological hindrances should be vanquished by happy husbands and wives in all sorts of carefree sports and pastimes, but how the neurotic man of today can be made to carry out the doctor's instructions with the right abandon and primitive enjoyment is a problem not easily solved. There is a little too much gusto in his advice; the ordinary individual is more likely to find annoyance than profit from his method of approach. Frankness is always desir- able,but gusto is never very attractive in scientists dealing with the more delicate and sensitive aspects of human behaviour.