The Trial of the Assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and the Law in the Gilded Age

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9780226727165: The Trial of the Assassin Guiteau: Psychiatry and the Law in the Gilded Age

In this brilliant study, Charles Rosenberg uses the celebrated trial of Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President Garfield in 1881, to explore insanity and criminal responsibility in the Gilded Age. Rosenberg masterfully reconstructs the courtroom battle waged by twenty-four expert witnesses who represented the two major schools of psychiatric thought of the generation immediately preceding Freud.

Although the role of genetics in behavior was widely accepted, these psychiatrists fiercely debated whether heredity had predisposed Guiteau to assassinate Garfield. Rosenberg's account allows us to consider one of the opening rounds in the controversy over the criminal responsibility of the insane, a debate that still rages today.

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In this brilliant study, Charles Rosenberg uses the celebrated trial of Charles Guiteau, who assassinated President Garfield in 1881, to explore insanity and criminal responsibility in the Gilded Age. Rosenberg masterfully reconstructs the courtroom battle waged by twenty-four expert witnesses who represented the two major schools of psychiatric thought of the generation immediately preceding Freud. Although the idea that genetics could play a role in behavior was just beginning to take hold in their day, these psychiatrists fiercely debated whether heredity had predisposed Guiteau to assassinate Garfield. Rosenberg's account allows us to consider one of the classic moments in the controversy over the criminal responsibility of the insane, a debate that still rages today.

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Rosenberg, Charles E.
Published by Univ of Chicago Pr (Tx) (1968)
ISBN 10: 0226727165 ISBN 13: 9780226727165
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Rosenberg, Charles E.
Published by Univ of Chicago Pr (Tx)
ISBN 10: 0226727165 ISBN 13: 9780226727165
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