My Lobotomy: A Memoir

Charles Fleming

Published by Tantor
ISBN 10: 1400105366 / ISBN 13: 9781400105366
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Audio CD. Dimensions: 6.4in. x 5.5in. x 1.1in.A gut-wrenching memoir by a man who was lobotomized at the age of twelve. Assisted by journalistnovelist Charles Fleming, Howard Dully recounts a family tragedy whose Sophoclean proportions he could only sketch in his powerful 2005 broadcast on NPRs All Things Considered. In 1960, he writes, I was given a transorbital, or ice pick lobotomy. My stepmother arranged it. My father agreed to it. Dr. Walter Freeman, the father of the American lobotomy, told me he was going to do some tests. It took ten minutes and cost two hundred dollars. Fellow doctors called Freemans technique barbaric: an ice picklike instrument was inserted about three inches into each eye socket and twirled to sever connections from the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. The procedure was intended to help curb a variety of psychoses by muting emotional responses, but sometimes it irreversibly reduced patients to a childlike state or (in 15 percent of the operations Freeman performed) killed them outright. Dullys ten-minute test did neither, but in some ways it had a far crueler result, since it didnt end the unruly behavior that had set his stepmother against him to begin with. I spent the next forty years in and out of insane asylums, jails, and halfway houses, he tells us. I was homeless, alcoholic, and drug-addicted. I was lost. From all accounts, there was no excuse for the lobotomy. Dully had never been crazy, and his (not very) bad behavior sounds like the typical acting-up of a child in desperate need of affection. His stepmother responded with unrelenting abuse and neglect, and his father allowed her to demonize his son and never admitted his complicity in the lobotomy; Freeman capitalized on their monumental dysfunction. Its a tale of epic horror, and while Dullys courage in telling it inspires awe, listeners are left to speculate about what drove supposedly responsible adults to such unconscionable acts. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: A gut-wrenching memoir by a man who was lobotomized at the age of twelve.

Assisted by journalist/novelist Charles Fleming, Howard Dully recounts a family tragedy whose Sophoclean proportions he could only sketch in his powerful 2005 broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered.

"In 1960," he writes, "I was given a transorbital, or 'ice pick' lobotomy. My stepmother arranged it. My father agreed to it. Dr. Walter Freeman, the father of the American lobotomy, told me he was going to do some 'tests.' It took ten minutes and cost two hundred dollars." Fellow doctors called Freeman's technique barbaric: an ice pick?like instrument was inserted about three inches into each eye socket and twirled to sever connections from the frontal lobe to the rest of the brain. The procedure was intended to help curb a variety of psychoses by muting emotional responses, but sometimes it irreversibly reduced patients to a childlike state or (in 15 percent of the operations Freeman performed) killed them outright. Dully's ten-minute "test" did neither, but in some ways it had a far crueler result, since it didn't end the unruly behavior that had set his stepmother against him to begin with.

"I spent the next forty years in and out of insane asylums, jails, and halfway houses," he tells us. "I was homeless, alcoholic, and drug-addicted. I was lost." From all accounts, there was no excuse for the lobotomy. Dully had never been "crazy," and his (not very) bad behavior sounds like the typical acting-up of a child in desperate need of affection. His stepmother responded with unrelenting abuse and neglect, and his father allowed her to demonize his son and never admitted his complicity in the lobotomy; Freeman capitalized on their monumental dysfunction. It's a tale of epic horror, and while Dully's courage in telling it inspires awe, listeners are left to speculate about what drove supposedly responsible adults to such unconscionable acts.

About the Author: At twelve years old, Howard Dully was one of the youngest patients to receive an "ice pick" lobotomy.

Charles Fleming is a former Newsweek correspondent and the author of the Los Angeles Times bestseller High Concept: Don Simpson and the Hollywood Culture of Excess.

Johnny Heller has narrated some five hundred books and garnered a bunch of swell awards and accolades, including Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Awards, Audie Awards and nominations, AudioFile Earphones Awards, and selection as one of AudioFile magazine's Top Fifty Narrators of the Twentieth Century.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Bibliographic Details

Title: My Lobotomy: A Memoir
Publisher: Tantor

Binding: No binding
Book Condition: New

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