The Lobotomist

The Lobotomist

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

Book - 2005
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WILEY
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.

Baker & Taylor
Using the controversial neurosurgeon's notes, letters, interviews, and journals, the author chronicles the life of the scorned proponent of lobotomy, covering Dr. Walter Freeman's drive to cure depression by brain surgery and the procedure's impact on twentieth-century psychiatry.

Book News
Today the lobotomy seems gruesome, grim, and cruel, but when Dr. Walter Freeman proposed the procedure as a powerful treatment for otherwise incurable mental illness, many important medical figures lent their support, pulling lobotomy into the mainstream of medical practice. El-Hai's biography of a brilliant but flawed physician who now ranks as one of the most scorned of the 20th century draws on books, articles, letters, journals, and other documents Freeman left behind as well as interviews with his family. The biography also serves as a history of the evolution of psychiatric medicine. El-Hai is a journalist based in Minneapolis. Annotation ©2005 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley, c2005.
ISBN: 9780471232926
0471232920
Characteristics: v, 362 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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wilsonlt
May 08, 2015

Very well researched book.

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nelhai
Sep 28, 2010

OMG I totally agree! Ol' Jackie is just my idol! I have a statue of him in my room and I worship it every morning!

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