The Organism


The Organism


Kurt Goldstein



Goldstein, Kurt. The Organism: A Holistic Approach to Biology Derived from Pathological Data in Man. 1939

In this remarkable book by one of the great psychologists and neurologists of the early twentieth century, Kurt Goldstein presents a summation of his “holistic” theory of the human organism. In the course of his studies on brain-damaged soldiers during the First World War, Goldstein became aware of the failure of contemporary biology and medicine to genuinely understand both the impact of such injuries and the astonishing adjustments that patients made to them.

The book was first published under the title Der Aufbau des Organismus: Einführung in die Biologie unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Erfahrungen am kranken Menschen, in 1934 and with only minor revisions in English translation in 1939.

After the rise of Hitler, Goldstein escaped to Amsterdam, supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, where he dictated his work, which would become his magnum opus, in just six weeks. Goldstein described the work being written while in a "time of enforced leisure" in the Netherlands during his flight from Nazi Germany.

Publication Date



American Book Company


New York


holistic health, anxiety, mental illness

The Organism