This book, Seduction of the Innocent, is the result of seven years of scientific investigation conducted by Dr. Fredric Wertham. He has had long experience in technical research and was the first psychiatrist to be awarded a fellowship by the National Research Council. From his studies on the brain came an authoritative textbook, The Brain as an Organ, used all over I he world. His clinical investigations resulted in the discovery of a new mental disease now incorporated in leading psychiatric textbooks.
Dr. Wertham was senior psychiatrist for the Department of Hospitals in New York City from 1932 to 1952, directed the mental hygiene clinics at Bellevue Hospital and Queens Hospital Center, and was in charge of the Court of General Sessions Psychiatric Clinic. For over twenty-five years Dr. Wertham has been giving expert opinion in medico-legal cases. His advice lias been sought by defense counsels, district attorneys, judges and legislators. His views have been discussed before state and Federal courts, including the U. S. Supreme Court in Washington. An “expert opinion” by a psychiatrist is an opinion based on facts, facts that can be demonstrated and proved.
This book, thoroughly documented by facts and cases, gives the substance of Dr. Wertham’s expert opinion on the effects that comic books have on the minds and behavior of children who come in contact with them. He has studied all the varieties of comic books. His findings are presented, therefore, against the background of all kinds of comic books. He has directed this book specifically at crime comic books which he defines as those “comic books that depict crime, whether the setting is urban, Western, science-fiction, jungle, adventure or the realm of supermen, ‘horror or supernatural beings.”