See K. Menninger's The Vital Balance (1963) and Whatever Became of Sin? (1973, repr. 1988) and H. J. Faulkner and V. Pruitt, ed., The Selected Correspondence of Karl A. Menninger, 1919-1945 (1989) and The Selected Correspondence of Karl A. Menninger, 1946-1965 (1995); W. Menninger's Psychiatry in a Troubled World (1948) and A Psychiatrist for a Troubled World (1967).
Karl Augustus Menninger (July 22, 1893 - July 18, 1990), born in Topeka, Kansas, was an American psychiatrist and a member of the famous Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation and the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.
Beginning with an internship in Kansas City, he worked at the Boston Psychopathic Hospital and taught at Harvard Medical School. In 1919 Menninger returned to Topeka and together with his father, Charles Frederick Menninger, he founded the Menninger Clinic. By 1925, he had attracted enough investors to build the Menninger Sanitarium. His book, The Human Mind appeared in 1930. In 1952 Karl Targownik, who would become one of his closest friends, joined the Clinic. His brother, William C. Menninger, who played a leading role in the US Army's psychiatric work, also later joined them.
The Menninger Foundation was established In 1941. After World War II, Karl Menninger was instrumental in founding the Winter Veterans Administration Hospital, in Topeka. It became the largest psychiatric training center in the world.
His subsequent books include The Vital Balance, Man Against Himself and Love Against Hate.
In the letter Menninger says that he has just read Szasz's book Insanity: The Idea and Its Consequences. Menninger wrote that neither of them liked the situation in which insanity separates men from men and free will is forgotten. After recounting the lack of scientific method in psychology over the years, Menninger expressed his regret that he did not come over to a dialogue with Szasz. Menninger writes the terms diagnosis, patients and treatment in quotes, suggesting that he had agreed to some extent with Szasz's arguments that psychiatric diagnosis is a medical fraud, psychiatric patients are prisoners and psychiatric treatments are tortures. Menninger's letter suggests he had been much closer to Szasz on issues in psychiatry than one might have suspected from reading Szasz's criticisms of Menninger.
Menninger's letter to Szasz and Szasz's reply were released into the public domain and can be read in their entirety at Szasz.com