The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness

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9780470098301: The Lobotomist: A Maverick Medical Genius and His Tragic Quest to Rid the World of Mental Illness

The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman’s documents and interviews with Freeman's family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look at the life and work of this complex scientific genius.

The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better. Drawing on a rich collection of documents Freeman left behind and interviews with Freeman's family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look into the life of this complex scientific genius and traces the physician's fascinating life and work.

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

From the Inside Flap:

Dr. Walter J. Freeman ranks as one of the most scorned physicians of the twentieth century, a man widely remembered as a loose cannon who worked beyond the boundaries of accepted medical practice to appease his own personal demons. The myths surrounding Freeman and the operation that made him famous—lobotomy—still persist today. Lobotomies turn people into human vegetables . . . Freeman lobotomized actress Frances Farmer . . . he carried a set of gold-plated ice picks . . . he lost his license to practice medicine . . . the list goes on.

Yet, many of the most important medical figures during Freeman's time lent their support to his work, effectively pulling lobotomy into the mainstream of medical practice. Many of Freeman's patients, some of them writing and speaking with astonishing clarity, observed how their lobotomies had changed them for the better. So how is it that both physicians and patients supported a procedure that today seems outrageous, even barbaric? And why did Freeman remain a forceful proponent of lobotomy even after most other physicians abandoned it in favor of newer forms of psychiatric treatment?

In The Lobotomist, Jack El-Hai examines these puzzling questions, taking a penetrating look into the life of a complex scientific genius who defies easy description. Drawing on the mountain of documents Freeman left in the wake of his half-century-long career—a treasure trove of books, articles, letters, journals, and memoirs—as well as interviews with Freeman's family, El-Hai presents a controversial view of this physician as a brilliant but flawed figure who, along with his partner, neurosurgeon James Watts, tried to rescue people once deemed incurable from permanent institutionalization.

Following Freeman during his childhood, his college years, and his growing fascination with the brain, El-Hai explores how the doctor became a rising star in neurology. He traces Freeman's wild journey as he refined and promoted lobotomy, which placed him in the middle of the long-running conflict between the biological and behavioral camps of psychiatry. El-Hai also provides a fascinating look at the evolution of psychiatric medicine through the eras of shock therapy, psychoanalysis, and pharmaceuticals. He reveals how Freeman's shadow looms over a new generation of physicians who practice today's psychiatric surgery—with better technology, a better understanding of the brain, and better ethical guidelines.

Intriguing, provoking, and at times unsettling, The Lobotomist is a unique take on the legacy of Dr. Freeman and his work, presenting a side of the story many have yet to hear.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for The Lobotomist

"Written with such clarity and engaging detail that a reader has difficulty in putting it down."
The New York Review of Books

"One of the many virtues of El-Hai's text is the rich detail he provides about Freeman's life and ideas."
Los Angeles Times

"Fascinating . . . an important and disturbing contribution to the history of psychiatry."
New Statesman

"Captivating. . . . No history of modern psychiatry is complete without this story."
—Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon

The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better.

Drawing on a rich collection of documents Freeman left behind and interviews with Freeman's family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look into the life of this complex scientific genius and traces the physician's fascinating life and work.

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman s documents and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look at the life and work of this complex scientific genius. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better. Drawing on a rich collection of documents Freeman left behind and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look into the life of this complex scientific genius and traces the physician s fascinating life and work. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780470098301

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman s documents and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look at the life and work of this complex scientific genius. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better. Drawing on a rich collection of documents Freeman left behind and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look into the life of this complex scientific genius and traces the physician s fascinating life and work. Nº de ref. de la librería AAH9780470098301

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Descripción John Wiley and Sons Ltd, United Kingdom, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. 1. Auflage. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Drawing on Freeman s documents and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look at the life and work of this complex scientific genius. The Lobotomist explores one of the darkest chapters of American medicine: the desperate attempt to treat the hundreds of thousands of psychiatric patients in need of help during the middle decades of the twentieth century. Into this crisis stepped Walter Freeman, M.D., who saw a solution in lobotomy, a brain operation intended to reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms. Although many patients did not benefit from the thousands of lobotomies Freeman performed, others believed their lobotomies changed them for the better. Drawing on a rich collection of documents Freeman left behind and interviews with Freeman s family, Jack El-Hai takes a penetrating look into the life of this complex scientific genius and traces the physician s fascinating life and work. Nº de ref. de la librería BZV9780470098301

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