The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry

The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry


By (author) Gary Greenberg

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  • Publisher: Scribe Publications
  • Format: Hardback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 241mm x 34mm | 675g
  • Publication date: 27 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: Carlton North
  • ISBN 10: 1922247057
  • ISBN 13: 9781922247056
  • Sales rank: 358,721

Product description

In this multi-award-winning autobiographical novel, Cristovao Tezza draws his readers into the mind of a young father whose son, Felipe, is born with Down syndrome. From the initial shock of diagnosis, and through his growing understanding of the world of hospitals and therapies, Tezza threads the story of his son's life with his own. Felipe, who lives in an eternal present, becomes a remarkable young man; for Tezza, however, the story is a settling of accounts with himself and his own limitations and, ultimately, a coming to terms with the sublime ironies and arbitrariness of life. He struggles with the phantom of shame, as if his son's condition were an indication of his own worth, and yearns for a 'normal' world that is always out of reach. Reading this compelling book is like stumbling through a trap door into the writer's mind, where nothing is censored, and everything is constantly examined and reinterpreted. What emerges is a hard-won philosophy of everyday life. It is extraordinary to encounter a common human drama - the birth of a disabled child - investigated profoundly by a father who happens to be a gifted writer. The Eternal Son is an honest and insightful story by one of Brazil's foremost contemporary novelists, here beautifully translated by Alison Entrekin. It is world literature at its finest.

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Author information

Gary Greenberg is a practicing psychotherapist and author of "Manufacturing Depression "and "The Noble Lie." He has written about the intersection of science, politics, and ethics for many publications, including "The New Yorker, Wired, Discover, "and "Rolling Stone." He is a contributor at "Mother Jones," and a contributing editor at "Harper's. "Dr. Greenberg lives with his family in Connecticut.

Review quote

"[I]ndustrious and perfervid... Mr. Greenberg [argues] that the [DSM] and its authors, the American Psychiatric Association, wield their power arbitrarily and often unwisely, encouraging the diagnosis of too many bogus mental illnesses in patients (binge eating disorder, for example) and too much medication to treat them....Mr. Greenberg argues that psychiatry needs to become more humble, not more certain and aggressive....Greenberg is a fresher, funnier writer. He paces the psychiatric stage as if he were part George Carlin, part Gregory House."--Dwight Garner, "The New York Times" "Greenberg's documentation of the "DSM-5" revision process is an essential read for practicing and in-training psychotherapists and psychiatrists and is an important contribution to the history of psychiatry."--"Library Journal" "The rewriting of the bible of psychiatry shakes the field to its foundations in this savvy, searching expose. Deploying wised-up, droll reportage from the trenches of psychiatric policy-making and caustic profiles of the discipline's luminaries, Greenberg subjects the practices of the mental health industry--his own included--to a withering critique. The result is a compelling insider's challenge to psychiatry's scientific pretensions--and a plea to return it to its humanistic roots."--"Publisher's Weekly, "starred review "Greenberg is an entertaining guide through the treacheries and valuable instances of the "DSM," interviewing members on both sides of the divide and keeping the proceedings conversational even when discussing the manual's pretensions toward epistemic iteration. He also brings his own practice into ["The Book of Woe"], with examples of the "DSM" falling woefully short in capturing the complexity of personality. Bright, humorous and seriously thoroughgoing, Greenberg takes all the "DSM"s for a spin as revealing as the emperor's new clothes."--"Kirkus Reviews" "[A] brilliant look at the making of DSM-5...e