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From The CriticsReviewer: William Miles, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book is composed of personal interviews of some of the most influential people in the field of psychopharmacology. It is the third in what is an ongoing series.
Purpose: The author provides no stated purpose for compiling the interviews. However, he makes it clear that the psychopharmacologic revolution has forever changed the approach to and treatment of mental illnesses and he feels that it is important that the ideas and thoughts of those involved in the revolution be recorded. However, he also makes it clear that there is more to this than just historical documentation. The author, in the preface, makes the argument that many ethical dilemmas presented themselves during the psychopharmacologic revolution, and that we need to apply what we have learned from these dilemmas to the ongoing research and development of new treatment modalities in psychiatry.
Audience: The book is targeted to psychiatrists and medical historians, but anyone involved the mental health field might find it interesting reading.
Features: This is not a textbook in the traditional sense, and therefore does not follow a logical, textbook-like format. The interviews and their subject matters are a diverse lot, but all are interesting and important to the field of psychiatry. Perhaps the two interviews most relevant are the one with Samuel Guze entitled "The Neo-Kraepelinian Revolution" and the one with Jean Thuillier called "Ten Years That Changed Psychiatry." Any psychiatrist practicing today should read these two interviews and discover just how influential these two men are on how psychiatry is approached and practiced.
Assessment: This book makes for fascinating reading, and is invaluable from a historical perspective. It is interesting to read first-hand accounts about such things as the discovery of amine reuptake or the synthesis of chlorpromazine. Each interview is followed by a selected bibliography, where readers can seek further reading about the subject of the interview. This book is highly recommended to anyone with even a passing interest in medical history.