This volume uncovers the roots of electroshock in America, an outgrowth of western patriarchal medicine with primarily female patients. The authors trace the history of electroshock in the United States in three historic stages: from an enthusiastic reception in 1940, to a period of crisis in the 1960s, to its resurgence after 1980. Early American experiments with electrical medicine are also examined, while the development of electroshock in America is considered through the lens of social, political, and economic factors. The revival of electroshock in recent decades is found to be a product of growing materialism in American psychiatry and the political and economic realities of managed medical care. The new material in the Updated Paperback Edition describes the resurgence of electroshock in the private psychiatric sector as a treatment of choice for depression.