Dorothea Dix: Advocate for Mental Health Care

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Overview


By exposing the sickening conditions people with mental illness endured in jails, almshouses, and basement cells, Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) single-handedly transformed the U.S. system of mental health care in the 19th century. Dix traveled from state to state, describing the hideous suffering people who were both poor and mentally ill endured at the hands of their captors. Her tireless research and personal lobbying of legislators led to construction of asylums for the mentally ill in state after state.

Oxford Portraits are informative and insightful biographies of people whose lives shaped their times and continue to influence ours. Based on the most recent scholarship, they draw heavily on primary sources, including writings by and about their subjects. Each book is illustrated with a wealth of photographs, documents, memorabilia, framing the personality and achievements of its subject against the backdrop of history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Although Muckenhoupt references several personal situations from Dix's life, the focus is clearly on her crusade to document atrocities in the care of the mentally ill, present the information to legislators, and lobby for change. In Dix's mind there were not two sides to this issue-she believed that God would enable her to do this most important work. The numerous black-and-white illustrations and primary sources enhance the clear text." -- School Library Journal

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Although Muckenhoupt references several personal situations from Dix's life, the focus is clearly on her crusade to document atrocities in the care of the mentally ill, present the information to legislators, and lobby for change. In Dix's mind there were not two sides to this issue-she believed that God would enable her to do this most important work. The numerous black-and-white illustrations and primary sources enhance the clear, dry text. As Dix's history has not been neglected, this title is an additional purchase.-Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195129212
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/2004
  • Series: Oxford Portraits Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,206,004
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Meg Muckenhoupt has written articles on travel in Boston and local environmental issues for The Boston Globe, the Boston Phoenix, Boston Magazine and the Time Out Boston guide. Her book Sigmund Freud: Explorer of the Unconscious (Oxford University Press) won the American Academy of Sciences 1998 Best science Books for Junior High and High school readers, and has been translated into seven languages. She holds a certificate in Field Botany from the New England Wild Flower Society.

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Table of Contents

1 A Girl Begins Her Lonely Journey 7
2 "The World Is My Home" 15
Mother Explains a Factory 20
3 A Teacher and an Author 25
Student Letters 28
"I Am Now Obliged to Refuse You the Desired Gratification" 36
4 Beginning the Great Work 40
Moral Treatment 47
5 "I Shall Be Obliged to Speak with Great Plainness" 51
"I Tell What I Have Seen!" 53
Astonishing Tenacity of Life 60
6 Moral Treatment for Prisoners 67
"I Would Not Have the Officers Become Preachers" 69
7 A Veto at Home, a Welcome in Europe 81
8 A Model of Charity for the South 91
9 The American Florence Nightingale 98
War Work 104
10 More Travel, More Battles 111
Afterword 117
Chronology 120
Further Reading 122
Index 124
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