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Madness in Civilization


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 8 Chapter One CONFRONTING MADNESS 10 Chapter Two MADNESS IN THE ANCIENT WORLD 16 Chapter Three THE DARKNESS AND THE DAWN 48 Chapter Four MELANCHOLIE AND MADNESSE 86 Chapter Five MADHOUSES AND MAD-DOCTORS 122 Chapter Six NERVES AND NERVOUSNESS 162 Chapter Seven THE GREAT CONFINEMENT 188 Chapter Eight DEGENERATION AND DESPAIR 224 Chapter Nine THE DEMI-FOUS 268 Chapter Ten DESPERATE REMEDIES 290 Chapter Eleven A MEANINGFUL INTERLUDE 322 Chapter Twelve A PSYCHIATRIC REVOLUTION? 358 Notes 412 Bibliography 428 Sources of Illustrations 440 Index 441

About the Author

Andrew Scull is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade (Princeton).


Honorable Mention for the 2016 PROSE Award in Psychology, Association of American Publishers One of Kirkus Reviews' Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 in History One of the New York Post's Favorite Books of 2015 One of Paste Magazine's 30 Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 "Sociologist and historian Andrew Scull is too rigorous a scholar to indulge in polemics. Instead, Mr. Scull has set himself the task of providing his readers with a clear, engaged and global overview of madness from the ancient world to the present ... [his] tone is elegant; his scholarship, immaculate. The story he tells is riveting." "--Joanna Bourke, Wall Street Journal "Scull's knowledge of music and art, cultural change, medicine, religion, and politics make this a great achievement in psychiatric history...[a] dynamic, readable chronicle and excellent reference."--Library Journal, starred review "[A] far-ranging, illuminating study of minds gone awry across space and time... Scull is sharp on every point, but some of his best moments come when he explains the introduction of psychoanalysis into pop culture in the postwar period, thanks in good part to Hollywood, and when he takes a sidelong look at both the drug-dependent psychiatry of today and its discontents, such as Scientology. To be read as both corrective and supplement to Foucault, Szasz, and Rieff. Often brilliant and always luminous and rewarding."--Kirkus, starred review "Methodical yet always engrossing... Scull's book is an outstanding illumination."--Oliver Kamm, Times of London "[A] powerful and disturbing book ... fascinating ... engrossing."--John Carey, Sunday Times "[Scull's] wide-ranging survey ... chronologically presents factual and imaginative material about insanity. Scull, a historian of psychiatry for almost 40 years, has been well-served by his publishers, who have laid on more than 80 black-and-white images and almost 50 high-quality colour plates."--Sarah Wise, Financial Times "I've only just started Andrew Scull's Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, but already it's taught me a lot about unreason, in all its guises... The in in Scull's title is a nice reproach to Foucault; we like to think of insanity as existing apart from, or before, the constructs of society--and certainly we try to put it there--but Scull's history unpacks centuries of our cultural baggage about madness, arguing that it's 'indelibly part of civilization, not located outside it.'"--Dan Piepenbring, Paris Review "[A] gigantic intellectual enterprise ... what makes Scull so worth heeding is his reluctance to adopt a fixed position. Again and again, his drift is to emphasize how little we still know about mental disorders. He staunchly refuses to come down on the side of either biological or experiential explanations... The standoff between the advocates of nature over nurture is very like that between materialism and religion. Both must surely be relevant to the complexity of human social experience. Thank goodness we have voices such as Andrew Scull's to keep us sane."--Salley Vickers, Telegraph "as illuminating as it is compendious...a magisterial survey."--John Gray, New Statesman "[a] vast and rather brilliant book."--Matt Haig, Independent "Madness in Civilization is a landmark study, as authoritative as it is readable in its account of the devastatingly sad understory of human society. It's enraging, intensely unsparing reading, but it's a masterpiece." ."--Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly "[A] rich and thorough cultural history of madness from the Bible to Freud... I couldn't put it down and have dog-eared almost every one of those 400 pages."--Susannah Cahalan, New York Post "In this centuries-spanning history, Andrew Scull reveals how mental illness was treated by numerous societies... Madness in Civilization ultimately tears down the supposed barriers between society and the mentally ill, highlighting the many ways so-called 'madness' has been appropriated, marginalized and understood in the course of human history."--Bridey Heing, Paste Magazine "Scull is ... keenly attuned to the larger social contexts in which madness was both experienced and influenced... Scull provides an illuminating commentary on the broad social and cultural contexts in which madness has occurred... [W]ell-crafted."--Raymond E. Fancher, PsycCRITIQUES "Madness in Civilization entirely deserves the applause it has received. This is the best single volume yet written on the cultural history of madness, and it is also the synoptic masterpiece of Scull's career... [A] rich, lucid, outstandingly good book, one that merits a place on the shelves of any practitioner, sufferer, or interested common reader."--Richard Barnett, Lancet Psychiatry "Andrew Scull, who teaches sociology and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, presents a comprehensive history of mental illness in his hefty but engaging volume... A humane call to pay attention to lives that have been hidden, demonized, and stigmatized."--Ellen Painter Dollar, Christian Century "[A] well-written and enjoyable book."--Alex Barnard, European Journal of Sociology "Madness in Civilization is an impressive, mature and fluent book. It is a powerful work of cultural history and it contains much evidence from literature, art, film, music, physicians' writing and reflection, medical writing and more."--Catharine Coleborne, Medical History

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