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

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Description


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.

About the Author


JACK EL-HAI is the President of the American Society of Journalists and a contributor to the Atlantic Monthly, the Washington Post Magazine, American Heritage, and other publications. He is a past winner of the Minnesota Book Award and the June Roth Memorial Award for Medical Journalism.


Product Details
ISBN: 9780470098301
ISBN-10: 0470098309
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: February 9th, 2007
Pages: 372
Language: English