A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac

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9780471157496: A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac
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"PPPP . . . To compress 200 years of psychiatric theory and practice into a compelling and coherent narrative is a fine achievement . . . . What strikes the reader [most] are Shorter's storytelling skills, his ability to conjure up the personalities of the psychiatrists who shaped the discipline and the conditions under which they and their patients lived."--Ray Monk The Mail on Sunday magazine, U.K.

"An opinionated, anecdote-rich history. . . . While psychiatrists may quibble, and Freudians and other psychoanalysts will surely squawk, those without a vested interest will be thoroughly entertained and certainly enlightened."--Kirkus Reviews.

"Shorter tells his story with immense panache, narrative clarity, and genuinely deep erudition."--Roy Porter Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine.

In A History of Psychiatry, Edward Shorter shows us the harsh, farcical, and inspiring realities of society's changing attitudes toward and attempts to deal with its mentally ill and the efforts of generations of scientists and physicians to ease their suffering. He paints vivid portraits of psychiatry's leading historical figures and pulls no punches in assessing their roles in advancing or sidetracking our understanding of the origins of mental illness.

Shorter also identifies the scientific and cultural factors that shaped the development of psychiatry. He reveals the forces behind the unparalleled sophistication of psychiatry in Germany during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as the emergence of the United States as the world capital of psychoanalysis.

This engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and fiercely partisan account is compelling reading for anyone with a personal, intellectual, or professional interest in psychiatry.

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Review:

The history of madness and its treatment is a fascinating one. At one time, the mentally ill were diagnosed as demonically possessed; later, when mental illness became the province of psychoanalysts, those conditions that are actually physical in nature, such as schizophrenia or manic depression, went insufficiently treated, their sufferers consigned to asylums. In his book, A History of Psychiatry, Edward Shorter, a medical historian at the University of Toronto, presents a concise chronology of mental illness and its treatment. Shorter favors a biological understanding of these disorders, concentrating on medical approaches to helping the seriously mentally ill.

From the Publisher:

In this comprehensive, provocative history of psychiatry noted historian Edward Shorter examines the evolution of psychiatry theory and practice from the eighteenth century to the present. The only book to cover the latest developments in the field, it proposes a return to "biological" roots and treatments of mental illness as opposed to the philosophy of insanity as being of social origin. It further describes the shift away from Freudian-based analysis toward a new era of possibilities of diagnosis and treatment using medication such as Prozac to treat a variety of disorders.

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9780471245315: A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac

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ISBN 10:  0471245313 ISBN 13:  9780471245315
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