"PPPP . . . To compress 200 years of psychiatric theory andpractice into a compelling and coherent narrative is a fineachievement . . . . What strikes the reader [most] are Shorter'sstorytelling skills, his ability to conjure up the personalities ofthe psychiatrists who shaped the discipline and the conditionsunder which they and their patients lived."--Ray Monk The Mail onSunday magazine, U.K."An opinionated, anecdote-rich history. . . . While psychiatristsmay quibble, and Freudians and other psychoanalysts will surelysquawk, those without a vested interest will be thoroughlyentertained and certainly enlightened."--Kirkus Reviews."Shorter tells his story with immense panache, narrative clarity,and genuinely deep erudition."--Roy Porter Wellcome Institute forthe History of Medicine.In A History of Psychiatry, Edward Shorter shows us the harsh,farcical, and inspiring realities of society's changing attitudestoward and attempts to deal with its mentally ill and the effortsof generations of scientists and physicians to ease theirsuffering. He paints vivid portraits of psychiatry's leadinghistorical figures and pulls no punches in assessing their roles inadvancing or sidetracking our understanding of the origins ofmental illness.Shorter also identifies the scientific and cultural factors thatshaped the development of psychiatry. He reveals the forces behindthe unparalleled sophistication of psychiatry in Germany during theeighteenth and nineteenth centuries as well as the emergence of theUnited States as the world capital of psychoanalysis.This engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and fiercelypartisan account is compelling reading for anyone with a personal,intellectual, or professional interest in psychiatry.
EDWARD SHORTER, PhD, is Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine at the University of Toronto. He is the author of ten books, including the international bestseller The Making of the Modern Family and a two-volume history of psychosomatic illness.
Table of Contents
The Birth of Psychiatry.The Asylum Era.The First Biological Psychiatry.Nerves.The Psychoanalytic Hiatus.Alternatives.The Second Biological Psychiatry.From Freud to Prozac.Notes.Index.
A History of Psychiatry: From the Era of the Asylum to the Age of Prozac 3.5 out of 5based on
neurodrew on LibraryThing
28 days ago
In a way similar to his "From Paralysis to Fatigue" Shorter writes of the evolution of psychiatry from its biological origins in asylums and degenerative brain disorders, to a 50 year "detour" into psychoanalysis, then back to biological origins in psychopharmacology. I found some interesting insights. Neurology in the turn of the century was really the place where mildly neurotic outpatients turned for officebased psychotherapy, and the development of psychoanalysis was critical for breaking the psychiatrist out of the mental hospital into a potentially lucrative practice. The psychoanalysts in this century resisted attempts to diagnose and classify disease, feeling the identification of the psychodynamic was more important. It was interesting to read of events in the 1970's and 1980's, for which I have a real memory, and some participation in the intellectual currents of the time, as history. It makes one question the underpinnings of one's learning to read its discrediting in the history of psychiatry I remember reading Thomas Szasz of the antipsychiatry movement with some approval during medical school, for instance.Shorter also declares the deinstitutionalization of psychotics as an unmitigated disaster, a sentiment I agree with, and traces its origin to the therapeutic community concept in the military service hospitals in Britain during the second world war.
coffeebookperfect on LibraryThing
28 days ago
Excellently researched, compassionate without the melodrama of cries of abuse - (though there was abuse, but sometimes you just want the history)
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