Bedlam: A Year in the Life of a Mental Hospital

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1st Edition, Fine-/Fine Book spine slightly canted, o.w. clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates, DJ tears etc. ISBN 1-55972-113-8.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Following his earlier Confessions of a Medical Heretic ( LJ 5/1/79), Bosco presents a biographical expose of conditions within a state mental hospital along the lines of Ivan Illich's Medical Nemesis ( LJ 5/1/76). By providing an outsider's view of the situation, he offers a valuable counterpoint to books by former patients (such as Kate Millett's The Loony-Bin Trip, LJ 4/15/90) and guards (Tom Ryan's Screw: A Guard's View of Bridgewater State Hospital, South End Pr., 1981). Bosco's descriptions of violence, horror, filth, and gallows humor, plus portraits of caring but demoralized staff working against inept bureaucrats more concerned with their own comfort than that of their patients, make this an eye-opening experience. A troubling book, difficult to put down, this belongs in psychology and social work collections.-- Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559721134
  • Publisher: Carol Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1992
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.31 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 1.37 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    The Sad Life of the Mentally Ill

    Under the cover of anonymity, author Dominick Bosco describes the doings of the administration, the physicians, the nurses, the psych-techs, the grief ridden parents (who have signed their rights away to the state) and the patients behind the walls of a massive and unnamed mental hospital. In the 1950s my brothers' and I were forced by the heavy, smoky and smelly traffic along Van Buren Avenue, to hurriedly pedal our bicycles and tricycles by the eight foot tall barbwire topped fence of the Arizona State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. I remember inmates occasionally approached and spoke nonsense at us. This was the same state facility that multiple escapee Winnie Ruth Judd, the woman convicted of chopping up a couple of people and shipping them via train in foot lockers, sometimes was to be in residence. Within the three hundred twenty-three pages of this book, which Bosco thankfully breaks into forty-three short and sad chapters, I learned all I need to know about our state-run mental hospitals; from their funding by the legislature, to the view of life from behind the eyes of a psychotic held inside their walls. We have all heard that government tax dollars for the mentally ill were massively sliced during the 20th Century and that many 21st Century inmates of our jails and prisons are psychotics and schizophrenics who should instead be patients in our mental hospitals. And listening to my friend undergoing guard training at Sheriff Joe's jails, I believe this is the case. However, since the mentally ill can't speak to legislators or hold mass demonstrations or even vote, the limited amount of tax dollars available find their way to those with the largest mouths: Seniors and Gays. Seniors and AIDS-stricken Gays, both of whose problems stem from the way they conduct their lives, as contrasted to the severely mentally ill chronicled in this book, who have absolutely no choice, no way to avoid their unbelievably sad and unavoidably expensive fate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    Like leering at a bad car accident

    This book is at once compelling and completely disgusting. Bosco offers unique insight into the state hospital and public healthcare system by chronicling the lives and experiences of staff and patients at "Bedloe" State Hospital. Very interesting, but also terrifying.

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