America's Care of the Mentally Ill: A Photographic History / Edition 1

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Overview

America's Care of the Mentally Ill: A Photographic History tells the story of our nation's care of the mentally ill, starting from the 18th century, through the birth of the American Psychiatric Association and hospital-based care in 1844, up to the present. This engrossing book is the first ever photographic volume depicting the history of the care of the mentally ill in the United States and the development of state mental hospitals.

Assembled by William E. Baxter, M.A., M.S., Director of the APA Library and Archives, and David W. Hathcox III, M.A., a freelance photographer, this extensive volume is culled from a variety of sources, including the APA's collection of rare photographs.

America's Care of the Mentally Ill: A Photographic History begins with the plight of the mentally ill in the 18th century. It continues through the many reform movements of the 19th century and the evolution of the state mental hospital system. The book ends with a description of the 20th century's rapid advances in treatments, and the demise of the state mental hospital.

American Psychiatric Publishing

This book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Reviewer: Herbert M. Swick, MD (Institute of Medicine and Humanities)
Description: This slim volume is a compilation of photographs, with limited text, published to mark the sesquicentennial of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). One of the authors is a librarian and archivist for the APA, and the other is a freelance photographer.
Purpose: This book purports to provide a portrait of individuals with mental illness and the care they received, focusing on the past 150 years. It is meant to be neither a scholarly history nor a record of medical advances in psychiatry.
Audience: The intended audience is unclear. Mental health care workers will find the book incomplete, and the lay public may be misled by some of the book's assertions.
Features: This photographic history consists primarily of photographs of American mental hospitals as well as earlier illustrations from European sources. Virtually all hospitals shown are from eastern states, with very few from the midwest and only one from the west coast. In some instances, there are multiple similar views of a single institution. Conversely, there are significant omissions.
Assessment: The book has a laudable intent and an interesting approach, but it misses the mark. It whets the appetite, but does not satisfy. A number of careless mistakes detract from the potential value of the book. For example, one figure legend refers to books from the 17th and 18th centuries, but the illustrations themselves are of books published as early as 1514 and as late as 1827. The photographs vary widely in quality, and most are not dated, which would have been helpful in giving a sense of time. The brief text employs broad generalizations without documentation. For example, the authors assert that in the late 18th century, those who cared for the mentally ill "delighted in tormenting them," which sometimes may have been true, but which was certainly not universal.
Herbert M. Swick
This slim volume is a compilation of photographs, with limited text, published to mark the sesquicentennial of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). One of the authors is a librarian and archivist for the APA, and the other is a freelance photographer. This book purports to provide a portrait of individuals with mental illness and the care they received, focusing on the past 150 years. It is meant to be neither a scholarly history nor a record of medical advances in psychiatry. The intended audience is unclear. Mental health care workers will find the book incomplete, and the lay public may be misled by some of the book's assertions. This photographic history consists primarily of photographs of American mental hospitals as well as earlier illustrations from European sources. Virtually all hospitals shown are from eastern states, with very few from the midwest and only one from the west coast. In some instances, there are multiple similar views of a single institution. Conversely, there are significant omissions. The book has a laudable intent and an interesting approach, but it misses the mark. It whets the appetite, but does not satisfy. A number of careless mistakes detract from the potential value of the book. For example, one figure legend refers to books from the 17th and 18th centuries, but the illustrations themselves are of books published as early as 1514 and as late as 1827. The photographs vary widely in quality, and most are not dated, which would have been helpful in giving a sense of time. The brief text employs broad generalizations without documentation. For example, the authors assert that in the late 18th century, those who cared for the mentally ill "delightedin tormenting them," which sometimes may have been true, but which was certainly not universal.
Booknews
A chronicle not so much of how the mentally ill have been dealt with, but how they and their care have been imaged from the 18th century through the birth of the American Psychiatric Association and hospital-based care in 1844, to the present closing of facilities and rise of community-based care. Also includes pre- photograph images from the 16th and 17th centuries. 11" wide. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

1 Star from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780880485395
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Edition description: Limited ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 156
  • Sales rank: 1,505,269
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 12.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

William E. Baxter, M.A., M.S., is an historian and archivist. He is the Director of the American Psychiatric Association Library and Archives.

David W. Hathcox III, M.A., is a freelance photographer and photojournalist in the Washington, DC, area and throughout the country.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Almshouses, jails, and the streets. Beginnings of institutional care. Numbers. Changes. Decline. Coming full circle: halfway houses, jails, and the streets. Notes on the photographs. Bibliography.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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