Madness: A History (Hardback)
  • Madness: A History (Hardback)
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Madness: A History (Hardback)

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£110.00
Hardback 346 Pages / Published: 08/06/2015
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Madness: A History is a thorough and accessible account of madness from antiquity to modern times, offering a large-scale yet nuanced picture of mental illness and its varieties in western civilization.

The book opens by considering perceptions and experiences of madness starting in Biblical times, Ancient history and Hippocratic medicine to the Age of Enlightenment, before moving on to developments from the late 18th century to the late 20th century and the Cold War era. Petteri Pietikainen looks at issues such as 18th century asylums, the rise of psychiatry, the history of diagnoses, the experiences of mental health patients, the emergence of neuroses, the impact of eugenics, the development of different treatments, and the late 20th century emergence of anti-psychiatry and the modern malaise of the worried well. The book examines the history of madness at the different levels of micro-, meso- and macro: the social and cultural forces shaping the medical and lay perspectives on madness, the invention and development of diagnoses as well as the theories and treatment methods by physicians, and the patient experiences inside and outside of the mental institution.

Drawing extensively from primary records written by psychiatrists and accounts by mental health patients themselves, it also gives readers a thorough grounding in the secondary literature addressing the history of madness. An essential read for all students of the history of mental illness, medicine and society more broadly.

Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
ISBN: 9780415713160
Number of pages: 346
Weight: 635 g
Dimensions: 235 x 159 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"[Extremely] well written... The original Finnish language version... won his native country's national literary award in 2014, and its virtues have carried over into an impressively lucid and wryly witty English prose that does credit to to the author's bilingual virtuosity... Pietikainen writes more emphatically from his perspective as a Professor of the History of Science and Ideas... [He] presents more about the philosophical and scientific backgrounds of his subjects and more clinical detail about actual cases of madness. His writing is clearly accessible to the intelligent layreader, but one senses that it is also directed at academic historians and history students... I can unconditionally recommend Pietikainen's book as offering an illuminating and insightful overview of its important subject."

Raymond Fancher, York University, Toronto, Canada, PsycCRITIQUES

"The author provides a sweeping yet poignantly detailed survey of the history of madness. Written in lively and clearly accessible prose and punctuated by colourful yet meaningful examples drawn from primary sources, Madness: A History offers an enticing introduction to students at all levels and to general readers. Part social history, part cultural history, and part intellectual history, Madness: A History conjures a richly rendered past that brings to the fore the lived experiences of the mad among us, while also engaging with the ways in which the most prominent philosophers and medical men defined and treated madness over the centuries. The author skilfully incorporates important historiographic debates and key concepts in ways that will interest experts, while not alienating less experienced readers."

Michael Rembis, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, USA

"Professor Pietkainen has given us a comprehensive and highly analytic history of how cultures have understood madness. He questions the medical model of madness and shows how interpretations of mental illness have changed throughout history and across cultures. This book will greatly please anyone who teaches the history of psychiatry, but the book also will be fascinating for anyone interested in understanding human behavior."

Lisa Raskin, Amherst College, USA

"This candid, ambitious and compelling study offers us a highly readable, provocative, synthetisising account of madness' long and problematic history. Taking us from the Medieaval landscape of folly and demonic possession, through early modern and Enlightenment views and treatments of madness, to the birth of the asylum and the modern ages of psychopharmacology, anti-psychiatry and social care, this is as much a history of problematics in how madness was and is managed as of advances in how it was and is perceived. Seeking to situate rather than to anatomoise or pathographise madness, Pietikainen phenomenologically elucidates how madness manifests itself or 'makes itself visible' in different contextual and temporal settings. He tells us tales less of progress than of unfulfilled hopes, less of mental illness and evolving diagnostic clarity than of the problems in constructions of being in terms of dependence and vulnerability, less of the commonalities in madness' manifesting than the manifold varieties of mental distress, wellness and being."

Jonathan Andrews, Newcastle University, UK

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