This fascinating story of madness reveals the radically different perceptions of madness and approaches to its treatment, from antiquity to the present day. Roy Porter explores what we really mean by 'madness', covering an enormous range of topics from witches to creative geniuses, electric shock therapy to sexual deviancy, psychoanalysis to prozac. The origins of current debates about how we define and deal with insanity are examined through eyewitness accounts of those treating patients, writers, artists, and the mad themselves.
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Published:13 March 2003
Genre:History of ideas
Secondary Genre:Neurology & clinical neurophysiology, History of medicine, Psychiatry
The most highly-acclaimed and prolific medical historian of this generation. Roy Porter was a well-known and widely respected author of over 80 books, the most recent being the much reviewed Enlightenment: Britain and the Creation of the Modern World (Penguin, 2000). He published extensively in the history of psychiatry, including A Social History of Madness (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987; Paperback edition, 1989); The Faber Book of Madness (Faber, 1991; paperback 1993). He was Professor of the Social History of Medicine at the Wellcome Trust Centre for the History of Medicine at University College London; and had extensive experience of popular public lecturing, broadcasting, and serious journalism.