This is not the easiest introduction to the work of Alexander Lowen for the yet uninitiated . It is Lowen's first book, and intended to give a thorough understanding of his work on character. It has two parts, 1) the early chapters explicate foundational principles on human structure and energy (that actually are not treated so thoroughly in his later books) and 2) chapters devoted to each character in his typology. For those who want to master Lowen's model of character, this is a necessary text. The book perhaps is intended also to make apparent where Lowen's approach did and did not fit into psychoanalysis and ego psychology. In doing this, Lowen seemed to assume that the reader knew psychoanalysis and ego psychology fairly well, which may not often be the case in 2011. Still the information is astounding, eye-opening, well-expressed and incredibly useful. If one is looking for more of a layman's introduction to Lowen then the book Pleasure or the book Joy: The Surrender to the Body and to Life (Compass) are good places to start.