346 pages | 13 B/W Illus.
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 Pietikäinen 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.
"[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 Pietkäinen 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, Pietikäinen 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
List of Figures 1. Introduction to Madness and Its History Part I: Madness from Antiquity to the Age of the Enlightenment 2. Madness in Ancient and Medieval Times 3. Madness, Folly and Religion in Early Modern Europe 4. From the Devil’s Temptation to Wrong Thinking: Madness in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries Part II: The Great Transformation: Medicalization of Madness in the Long Nineteenth Century 5. The Age of the Asylum 6. The Medical Management of Madness 7. Living and Dying in Asylumland 8. Naming the Mad Mind Part III: Naming and Managing Madness in the Golden Age of Asylums 9. Mental Maladies in the Twentieth Century 10. Mental Treatment from Magnetism to Psychoanalysis 11. War and Madness 12. Shocks and Surgeries: Somatic Treatments of the Twentieth Century Part IV: Madness in the Cold War Era and Beyond 13. Mind Control, Political Psychiatry and the Human Rights 14. The Psychopharmacological Revolution 15. Madness between Sanity and Normalcy Epilogue Index