Pathological Firesetting

Issue 2 and Volume 105.

Pathological Firesetting A comprehensive treatise on pyromania, called “Pathological Firesetting,” by Dr. Nolan D. C. Lewis, head of the department of psychiatry of Columbia University, and Dr. Helen Yarnell, has just been published by the Coolidge Foundation. Prepared with the aid of the National Board of Fire Underwriters, the book is believed to be the first detailed study of the problem of people who for apparently no logical reason set fires. Such persons have endangered the lives of thousands of persons and have destroyed vast amounts of property. Case histories from the files of the National Board’s arson department, gathered over a period of 20 years, were made available to Columbia University for research on the book. Additional material was obtained from the New York City Fire Marshal’s office. New York City Court Clinic and the prison, children’s and adolescent care wards of Bellevue Hospital and elsewhere. The authors state…

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