Customer Reviews for

An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug, Cocaine

Average Rating 4
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  • Posted February 14, 2012


    I'd recommed this to any one interested in Addiction, Recovery, History of Medicine, and two formidable intellects, who brought Psychology and Medicine into the 20th century.
    Markel describes an era of Medicine very different from what we know today. He brings to life, in vivid detail, the horrors of medical care in the 19th century--and the men who transformed it. I learned much about the modest and unexpected origins of many of the medical procedures we now take for granted--sterile surgery, humane treatments for mental illness, surgical gloves, anasthesia. He also explores many odd fringe ideas in medical history. I especially enjoyed his explanation of Fliess' Nasal Theory, linking most health problems to the state of the nose.
    At the center is the disease of Addiction. A devious, deadly, and destructive disease, which caught even brilliant Doctors and succesful leaders by surprise. Markel shares many insights into the nature of Addiction and Recovery, before 12-step Programs, and "Celebrity Rehab". His observations on Addiction and Recovey are true more than ever today.
    Although he is not mentioned in this book, I was reminded of the character, Dr. House, on the TV series "House". Freud and Halsted could have been the real-life inspiration for Dr. House's character--an amazing combination of flaws, addiction, and genius.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2012

    Disappointing . . .

    I was expecting a more scholarly work . . . Markel is blatantly agenda-driven, and the book's level of writing and thought is pretty middlebrow. He's going for the sensational/scandalous aspects of the story rather than a reasoned and contextual examination. The work is of little value to anyone with some knowledge of this aspect of Freud's career.

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    Posted April 17, 2012

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    Posted January 27, 2012

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    Posted July 28, 2011

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