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Madhouse A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine

ISBN-10: 0300126700
ISBN-13: 9780300126709
Edition: 2007
Authors: Andrew Scull
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Description: "Madhouse "reveals" "a long-suppressed medical scandal, shocking in its brutality and sobering in its implications. It shows how a leading American psychiatrist of the early twentieth century came to believe that mental illnesses were the product of  More...

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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 9/4/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 6.14" wide x 9.09" long x 0.87" tall
Weight: 0.704
Language: English

"Madhouse "reveals" "a long-suppressed medical scandal, shocking in its brutality and sobering in its implications. It shows how a leading American psychiatrist of the early twentieth century came to believe that mental illnesses were the product of chronic infections that poisoned the brain. Convinced that he had uncovered the single source of psychosis, Henry Cotton, superintendent of the Trenton State Hospital, New Jersey, launched a ruthless campaign to "eliminate the perils of pus infection." Teeth were pulled, tonsils excised, and stomachs, spleens, colons, and uteruses were all sacrificed in the assault on "focal sepsis." Many patients did not survive Cotton's surgeries; thousands more were left mangled and maimed. Cotton's work was controversial, yet none of his colleagues questioned his experimental practices. Subsequent historians and psychiatrists too have ignored the events that cast doubt on their favorite narratives of scientific and humanitarian progress. In a remarkable feat of historical detective work, Andrew Scull exposes the full, frightening story of madness among the mad-doctors. Drawing on a wealth of documents and interviews, he reconstructs in vivid detail a nightmarish, cautionary chapter in modern psychiatry when professionals failed to police themselves.

Andrew Scull was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. He obtained his B.A. with first-class honors from Balliol College at the University of Oxford in politics, philosophy, and economics, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University. From 1976 to 1977, he was a postdoctoral fellow in medical history at University College London. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, and the University of California, San Diego, where he has been Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Science Studies since 1994.Among others, he has held fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, and he has served as director of a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar on "Madness and Society." From 1992 to 1993, he was president of the Society for the Social History of Medicine.Scull's work has been translated into Korean, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. He has published more than 100 articles in leading journals in law, psychiatry, sociology, medical history, social history, neurology, and medicine. His many books include Decarceration (1977, 2nd ed. 1984); Museums of Madness: The Social Organization of Insanity in Nineteenth Century England (1979); The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700-1900 (1993); Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine (2005); and Hysteria (2009).

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Prologue
No Bughouse Doctor
The Perils of Pus Infection
The Mecca of Exodontia
Selling the Cure
Fighting Focal Infection
The End of the Affair?
An American Abroad
Making a Medical Career
Cotton Under the Microscope
Averting a Scandal
Showdown
Playing for Time
The New Lister
Betrayals
Death in the Trenches
Epilogue: Psychiatry and Its Discontents
Notes
Index

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