Discovering the History of Psychiatry
The field of psychiatry has exercised enormous influence in our century, not only among scientists and mental health professionals, but also in the arts, humanities, and social sciences which shape the cultural life of millions. This vitality has been accompanied by a profusion of historical material. Yet, while growing rapidly, the documented history of psychiatry has been ridden with controversy due to the great variety of interpretive nuance among different writers. This book brings together leading international authorities - physicians, historians, social scientists, and others - who explore the many complex interpretive and ideological dimensions of historical writing about psychiatry. The book includes chapters on the history of the asylum, Freud, anti-psychiatry in the United States and abroad, feminist interpretations of psychiatry's past, and historical accounts of Nazism and psychotherapy, as well as discussions of many individual historical figures and movements. It represents the first attempt to study comprehensively the multiple mythologies that have grown up around the history of madness and the origin, functions, and validity of these myths in our psychological century. The audience includes every person interested in the state of discussion and reflection taking place in the compelling science of the human mind.
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