Voice for the Mad: The Life of Dorothea Dix

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Free Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 538 pages
Dorothea Dix was a woman of striking paradoxes. A lady of dignity and refinement, she spent her days investigating the squalid world of madness, probing the nation's worst hellholes. Professing conservative feminine values, with furious energy and keen political insight, she invaded the masculine realm of government to press her agenda. Indeed, the secret of her success was to use conventional rhetoric of female subordination and self-denial to camouflage her radical course of political action. A woman of profound religious conviction, Dix believed that God had called her to a divine mission: to become the voice of the mad, speaking for those unable to speak for themselves. Accordingly, she threw herself into her vocation with an all-consuming intensity. Obsessed with the insane, she all but ignored the most celebrated reform movements of her day, women's rights and antislavery. This has led most historians to underestimate her. Yet no Victorian woman matched Dix's record of concrete achievement nor lived a more intrepid life.

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VOICE FOR THE MAD: A Life of Dorothea Dix

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A compassionate portrait of a complicated 19th-century woman who converted the conventions of genteel ``femininity'' into a substantial public career. Dorothea Dix, advocate for the impoverished ... Read full review

Voice for the mad: the life of Dorothea Dix

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Dix (1802-87) has long merited a full-scale biography. Advocating a public responsibility for the care of the mentally ill, she founded a large number of asylums and lobbied for mental health reforms ... Read full review


The Making of an Angry Young Woman
The Education of a Liberal Christian
The English Malady

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Gollaher is President and CEO of the California Healthcare Institute.

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