In this intriguing study, two social psychologists and an intellectual historian describe the people and intellectual currents which have given rise to the complex discipline of American social psychology. The authors examine the influence of British evolutionary theory, French social theory,American pragmatism, and the ideas of Freud, Marx and Lewin on the evolution of social psycholgical theory, and explain how these traditions contributed to later developments such as group dynamics, cognitive social psychology, and symbolic interaction. American social psychology during this centuryhas shifted back and forth from a focus on individual psychological processes to a concern with the role of the broader social context and social interaction. This has resulted in the development of several quite distinct social psychologies, which are all valid rather than mutually exclusive, andit should be possible to build a discipline in which all aspects of social interaction are considered. Students and professionals in social psychology, sociology, and related areas, as well as those interstd in the history of the social sciences, will find this important and comprehensive appraisalof the field useful.