Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture

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9780691141060: Bipolar Expeditions: Mania and Depression in American Culture
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Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar Expeditions seeks to understand mania's appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression.


Anthropologist Emily Martin guides us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical industry, and psychotropic drugs. Charting how these worlds intersect with the wider popular culture, she reveals how people living under the description of bipolar disorder are often denied the status of being fully human, even while contemporary America exhibits a powerful affinity for manic behavior. Mania, Martin shows, has come to be regarded as a distant frontier that invites exploration because it seems to offer fame and profits to pioneers, while depression is imagined as something that should be eliminated altogether with the help of drugs.



Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and depression have a cultural life outside the confines of diagnosis, that the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder belong fully to the human condition, and that even the most so-called rational everyday practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin's own experience with bipolar disorder informs her analysis and lends a personal perspective to this complex story.

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"In this exciting book, Martin brilliantly sketches out a relationship between the frenetic pace of modern life and the way in which bipolar disorder is imagined and evoked. Martin describes the way the diagnosis comes to carry meaning for those who hold it and the cultural dimensions of the way in which the illness is understood and experienced."--Tanya Luhrmann, author of Of Two Minds: An Anthropologist Looks at American Psychiatry

"Learned, imaginative, and insightful, Bipolar Expeditions explores experience, stigma, and performance using the varied tools of ethnography, history, and social theory. Martin's readers will return from that contested and new-found land called mania with a richer and more sophisticated understanding of a fundamental aspect of the human condition."--Charles Rosenberg, Harvard University

"This is a gracefully written, lively, and wholly fascinating book. Martin offers a rich and multifaceted portrait of the role of bipolar illness--and of our notions about bipolar illness--in contemporary American society. The book is broad-ranging, both in its focus and in the theoretical perspectives it employs. I do not know of any other books that address bipolar illness in anything like this fashion."--Louis A. Sass, author of Madness and Modernism

"Bipolar Expeditions is a wonderful book. It is compellingly written, elegantly structured, both deeply scholarly and intensely personal. Destined to become an instant classic, the book offers a strikingly original argument with the potential to change forever how the reader thinks about 'mental illness.' Martin is a master of popular culture. She is also in command of a vast psychiatric literature."--Lorna A. Rhodes, University of Washington

About the Author:

Emily Martin is professor of anthropology at New York University. Her books include Flexible Bodies: Tracking Immunity in American Culture from the Days of Polio to the Age of AIDS and The Woman in the Body: A Cultural Analysis of Reproduction.

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar Expeditions seeks to understand mania s appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression. Anthropologist Emily Martin guides us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical industry, and psychotropic drugs. Charting how these worlds intersect with the wider popular culture, she reveals how people living under the description of bipolar disorder are often denied the status of being fully human, even while contemporary America exhibits a powerful affinity for manic behavior. Mania, Martin shows, has come to be regarded as a distant frontier that invites exploration because it seems to offer fame and profits to pioneers, while depression is imagined as something that should be eliminated altogether with the help of drugs. Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and depression have a cultural life outside the confines of diagnosis, that the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder belong fully to the human condition, and that even the most so-called rational everyday practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin s own experience with bipolar disorder informs her analysis and lends a personal perspective to this complex story. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780691141060

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Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture today. It fuels the plots of best-selling novels and the imagery of MTV videos, is acknowledged as the driving force for successful entrepreneurs like Ted Turner, and is celebrated as the source of the creativity of artists like Vincent Van Gogh and movie stars like Robin Williams. Bipolar Expeditions seeks to understand mania s appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression. Anthropologist Emily Martin guides us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds, the pharmaceutical industry, and psychotropic drugs. Charting how these worlds intersect with the wider popular culture, she reveals how people living under the description of bipolar disorder are often denied the status of being fully human, even while contemporary America exhibits a powerful affinity for manic behavior. Mania, Martin shows, has come to be regarded as a distant frontier that invites exploration because it seems to offer fame and profits to pioneers, while depression is imagined as something that should be eliminated altogether with the help of drugs. Bipolar Expeditions argues that mania and depression have a cultural life outside the confines of diagnosis, that the experiences of people living with bipolar disorder belong fully to the human condition, and that even the most so-called rational everyday practices are intertwined with irrational ones. Martin s own experience with bipolar disorder informs her analysis and lends a personal perspective to this complex story. Seller Inventory # AAZ9780691141060

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2009. Condition: New. 2009. First Paperback Printing. Paperback. Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture. This work seeks to understand mania's appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression. It takes us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds and psychotropic drugs. Num Pages: 400 pages, 19 halftones. 6 tables. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JFFH; JHM. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 233 x 154 x 24. Weight in Grams: 592. . . . . . . Seller Inventory # V9780691141060

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Book Description Princeton University Press. Condition: New. 2009. First Paperback Printing. Paperback. Manic behavior holds an undeniable fascination in American culture. This work seeks to understand mania's appeal and how it weighs on the lives of Americans diagnosed with manic depression. It takes us into the fascinating and sometimes disturbing worlds of mental-health support groups, mood charts, psychiatric rounds and psychotropic drugs. Num Pages: 400 pages, 19 halftones. 6 tables. BIC Classification: 1KBB; JFFH; JHM. Category: (P) Professional & Vocational; (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 233 x 154 x 24. Weight in Grams: 592. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Seller Inventory # V9780691141060

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