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Hove, Arthur (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 63, Number 8 (Dec. 1961)

Andreopoulos, Ed
Karl Menninger, M.D.--a profile,   pp. 22-[25]


Page 24


brilliantly fertile imagination is the
quality of foresight. He was among the
first to see, the: influence of psychiatry
upon medicine, morals, literature, art,
music, educational theory and practice,
legal and criminal procedures, industry,
sociology, psychology, and religion. He
wrote about it in 1938 in a book called
America Now, edited by Harold E.
Stearns.
   Another quality is his pertinacity.
Nothing can stop him in his stubborn
and dogged determination to get what
he wants. His courage has never been
questioned. He said once that he always
had a tendency "to swim against the
stream."
   Such is his hope to be able to help
abolish capital punishment. He wrote
about it in   "Verdict Guilty-Now
What?" in Harper's: "Capital punish-
ment is . - . . morally wrong. It has a
bad effect on everyone, especially those
involved in it. It is vastly expensive.
But over and beyond all these it be-
clouds the entire issue of motivation of
crime, which is so importantly relevant
to the question of what to do for and
with the criminal that will be most con-
structive to society as a whole.
   "Punishing-and even killing-crim-
inals may yield a kind of grim gratifi-
cation, and secretly, let us all admit,
there are times when we are so shocked
at the depredations of an offender that
we persuade ourselves that this man the
Creator didn't intend to create, and
that we had better help correct the
mistake.
  He hopes to be able to contribute to
the change of the fate of prisoners.
"Since ancient times," he says, "criminal
law and penology have been based upon
what is called in psychology the pain-
pleasure principle .... The way to con-
trol behavior is to reward what is 'good'
and-to punish what is 'bad.'
   "Today it is no secret from  anyone
that our official threat-penalty theory is
an utter failure. . .  On the basis of
laws written many years ago we con-
sign offenders for arbitrary periods to
institutional confinement. Here they lan-
guish until time has ground out so many
weary months and years, and then ....
they are dumped back upon society, re-
gardless of whether any change has
taken place in them for the better and
with every assurance that changes have
taken place in them for worse. Once
more they enter the unequal tussle with
society! Proscribed for employment by
most concerns, they are expected to in-
vent a new way to make a living and
to survive without any further help
from society."
   Society, Doctor Karl believes, should
make every effort to rehabilitate offend-
ers through scientific methods of treat-
ment. "And if the prisoner, like some
of our psychiatric patients, cannot be
changed by genuine efforts to rehabili-
tate him, we must look our failure in
the face, and provide for his indefinitely
continued confinement. . . . This we
owe society for its protection."
  His dream for offenders has partially
come true recently in the form of a new
State Reception and Diagnostic Center
in Topeka. This institution will provide
examination of all felony offenders sen-
tenced by Kansas courts, so that these
individuals can be sent to the proper
place for rehabilitation.
  But Doctor Karl's interests are not
specifically limited to his field. He is
also interested in soil, forest and wild-
life conservation, music, philosophy,
University Plans to Establish Junior Year in France
T   WO REPRESENTATIVES of the
    University of Wisconsin are travel-
ling in France to make arrangements
for top undergraduate students of the
UW to study at a European university
during their junior or third year of col-
lege studies.
   They are Prof. Henry Bertram Hill,
history, chairman of the UW commit-
tee in charge of the new program for
inter-continental study for top-level
American students, and A. W. Peter-
son, vice-president of business and fi-
24
nance. They are accompanied by Prof.
James H. Robertson, assistant dean of
the College of Literature, Science, and
the Arts at the University of Michigan,
which is jointly sponsoring the new
program     of foreign    study with
Wisconsin.
  The program is in part supported
with the aid of a $60,000 grant from
the Carnegie Foundation of New York.
  The UW and Michigan representa-
tives will negotiate with French educa-
tional authorities on academic arrange-
ancient Greek history, comparative re-
ligion, literature, chess and-bridge. And
he is a skilled equestrian.
   He has a son, Dr. Robert Menninger,
 who is a section chief at the C. F. Men-
 ninger Hospital, and three daughters.
 His wife, Jeanetta, is editor 'of the
 Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, and
 assists her husband in all of his writing.
   His professional affiliations are nu-
 merous. He has long been a Fellow of
 the American Medical Association, the
 American Psychiatric Association and
 the American College of Physicians. He
 has been president of the American
 Psychoanalytic Association, Central
 Neuropsychiatric Association, and
 American Orthopsychiatric Association.
 He helped organize the latter two asso-
 ciations, as well as the Chicago Insti-
 tute for Psychoanalysis, and the Topeka
 Psychoanalytic Society. He is a consult-
 ant to many federal, national, state, and
 local institutions.
   It would be presumptuous on the
 part of this writer to try to present a
 complete portrait of Doctor Karl in one
 article. This would be impossible. So
 far no biography of him exists. His se-
 lected writings are, of course, tanta-
 mount to a biography. They are
 indispensable to the student, and marve-
 lous reading besides. But I wish that
 some intelligent modern biographer
 with a gift for a psychological insight
 and the patience to read a million words
 of documents-also one who has not
 succumbed to the contemporary disillu-
 sion that brings the "debunking" spirit
 to everything including science, theol-
 ogy, and literature-would tackle the
 formidable job of writing a full critical
 biography of Doctor Karl. Treasure in
 limitless profusion awaits him.
 ments for the program, as well as on
 arrangements  for  dormitory, health,
 medical, and hospital accommodations.
 Consideration is being given to locating
 the program at the University at Aix-
 en-Province near Marseilles.
   The program will begin in Septem-
 ber, 1962. Approximately 25 under-
 graduates from the University of
 Wisconsin who are in the top 10 per
 cent of their class will be chosen each
 year from volunteers who wish to study
 in France.
Wisconsin Alumnus, December, 1961


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