* Finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award * Washington Post Notable Book of the Year * People Magazine Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year *
"Extraordinary and courageous . . . No doubt if everyone were to read this book, the world would change."New York Times Book Review
New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.
From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.
Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers's beloved son Kevinspirited, endearing, and giftedwho triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.
A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Ron Powers is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He is the co-author of Flags of our Fathers and True Compassboth #1 New York Times Hardcover Nonfiction bestsellers. His biography of Mark TwainMark Twain: A Lifewas also a New York Times bestseller. He lives with his wife Honoree Fleming, Ph.D., in Castleton, Vermont.
Table of Contents
1 Membrane 1
2 What Is Schizophrenia? 21
3 Regulars 39
4 Bedlam, Before and Beyond 56
5 Eugenics: Weeding Out the Mad 79
6 "A More Normal World" 103
7 "When They Were Young" 110
8 Madness and Genius 115
9 "If Only, If Only, If Only…" 128
10 Chaos and Heartbreak 142
11 The Great Unraveler 156
12 Surcease 175
13 Debacle 187
14 "Hey Fam-" 205
15 Antipsychotics 221
16 "Something Unexplainable" 245
17 "We Have Done Pitifully Little About Mental Illnesses" 264
18 "Primoshadino" 284
19 Red Sox 17, Yankees 1 297
20 Insanity and Icarus 299
21 Someone Cares About Crazy People 316
About the Author 361
What People are Saying About This
This is the book that Ron Powers, one of America's most elegant chroniclers, vowed he would never write. Too disturbing, too painful, too intimate. We are fortunate that he changed his mind. Powers has tackled his most challenging subject yet with erudition, humanity, and courage. By allowing readers into the sanctity of his home, he makes real the toll of mental illness on those who suffer, their families, and the community. NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE is an unforgettable, insistent call for a nationwide conversation and action, for embracing our most vulnerable benefits us all. -Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, author of Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds
"Whether Ron Powers is writing about Mark Twain, small-town life in the Midwest, the state of television, or crime, his books resonate. Now he has written the book he never wanted to tackleabout the schizophrenia of his sons and the cruel failures of the American mental health establishment."
"In telling this gripping and deeply personal story, Ron Powers puts chronic mental illness in the broad context of history, society, and public policy. His compelling account helps shake us out of the embarrassment and apathy that have tethered public discourse and lasting action to treat mental illness. Despite fitful progress, real and lasting progress and empathy are still so easily tripped up by ignorance, fear, and unease. Ron Powers explains why we need to move beyond the stigma that still makes progress difficult, and sometimes impossible. The story he tells is not a comfortable one, but it's an important one."
"Ron Powers writes eloquently, passionately, and persuasively about the failure to properly treat mental illness in America. What makes this book really powerful is Powers's personal storythe harrowing, wrenching tale of his two sons wrestling with the unholy demon of schizophrenia."
"NO ONE CARES ABOUT CRAZY PEOPLE is a woefully necessary kick in the teeth to society's understanding and treatment of mental illness. Reading Ron Powers is always an eventyou can expect expert research and rich reporting in an engrossing stylebut what makes this book soar is the passion of Powers' conviction based off his own intimate experiences with schizophrenia. I put this book down days ago and I'm still reeling. It's the rare book that breaks your life into a before and an after."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The book presented a detailed history I Of mental illness. I wanted more personal interplay with his sons.
for anyone with any interest in mental health issues, whether academic or personal.
Thank you Ron Powers for writing your heart wrenching book about the abysmal failures of the mental health system in our country to deliver desperately needed care. Sharing the raw details of the stories of your beloved sons brings the informative material alive. I commend you for your strength, courage, and commitment to wake up the public. Your book catalyzes the kind of caring that stimulates badly needed change on behalf of all those who suffer, both those with mental illness and those who love them. Linda Bloom, co-author of That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Got Stronger at the Broken Places