A new open-access piece in the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences will interest AHP readers: “The book history of Rona M. Fields’s A Society on the Run (1973): A case study in the alleged suppression of psychological research on Northern Ireland,” Gavin Miller. Abstract:
The US psychologist Rona M. Field’s book A Society on the Run (1973) offered a psychological account of the nature and effects of the Northern Irish Troubles at their peak in the early 1970s. The book was withdrawn shortly after publication by its publisher, Penguin Books Limited, and never reissued. Fields alleged publicly that the book had been suppressed by the British state, a claim that has often been treated uncritically. Local Northern Irish psychologists suggested that the book was taken off the market because of its scientific deficiencies. Rigorous book-historical investigation using Penguin editorial fields reveals, however, that what might appear to be a case of state suppression, or an instance of disciplinary boundary work, can be explained instead by the commercial interests and professional standards of a publisher keen to preserve its reputation for quality and reliability.