Obedience to Authority

by Stanley Milgram. Harper & Row, $10.00. Dr. Milgram conducted those controversial experiments in which people were persuaded to administer electric shocks (imaginary, but the guinea pigs did not know that) to helpless victims. He now offers an account of the business (it contains curious gaps and inconsistencies) and of the conclusions he has drawn from it. These concern acceptance of authority, and may be valuable, at least as a beginning, in the study of a mysterious area. The tone of the book is defensive and sometimes smug, and raises the suspicion that Dr. Milgram may unknowingly have kidded himself as well as his subjects.