The Method and the Madness
I highly recommend Hanganu-Bresch and Berkenkotter’s work to anyone who is interested in the vicissitudes of early psychiatric diagnosis, confinement and treatment. The book is well written and well documented. The reader benefits form the authors’ admirable knowledge on the evolution of psychiatry in the 19th century, the social co-creation of the institution of asylum and the many genres of discourse (from admission reports to science fiction) that have shaped these developments. While the book offers but a snapshot of a more extended historical process, I believe there is a lot to learn from such a snapshot.
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