Madness : A Brief History

3.48 (703 ratings by Goodreads)
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This fascinating story of madness reveals the radically different perceptions of madness and approaches to its treatment, from antiquity to the present day.

Roy Porter explores what we really mean by 'madness', covering an enormous range of topics from witches to creative geniuses, electric shock therapy to sexual deviancy, psychoanalysis to prozac.

The origins of current debates about how we define and deal with insanity are examined through eyewitness accounts of those treating patients, writers, artists, and the mad themselves.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 120 x 172 x 17mm | 253g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous halftones
  • 0192802674
  • 9780192802675
  • 58,918

Table of contents

1. Introduction ; 2. Madness, Gods, and Demons ; 3. The Rationality of Madness ; 4. Fools and Folly ; 5. Locking up the Mad ; 6. The Rise of Psychiatry ; 7. The Mad ; 8. The Century of Psychoanalysis ; 9. Conclusion: Modern Times, Ancient Problems?
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Review quote

Well illustrated and constructed, this is a masterful and moving book written in pellucid prose. Its brevity belies its weight * Ross Leckie, The Times (Play) *
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About Roy Porter

The most highly-acclaimed and prolific medical historian of this generation. Roy Porter was a well-known and widely respected author of over 80 books, the most recent being the much reviewed Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Penguin, 2000).

He published extensively in the history of psychiatry, including A Social History of Madness (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987; Paperback edition, 1989); The Faber Book of Madness (Faber, 1991; paperback 1993). He was Professor of the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London; and had extensive experience of popular public lecturing, broadcasting, and serious journalism.
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Rating details

703 ratings
3.48 out of 5 stars
5 17% (119)
4 30% (212)
3 39% (276)
2 11% (80)
1 2% (16)
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