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Approaching Hysteria Hardcover – 1995

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Editorial Reviews


"Approaching Hysteria affords a comprehensive mapping of recent avenues of inquiry, evaluating the work of hundreds of scholars who have contributed over the past 20 years to the revival of inquiry into hysteria. . . . Readers seeking a lucid and scrupulously balanced introduction to current debates on this puzzling condition, . . will be deeply grateful to Mark Micale. . . . [a] lucid, literate, and extremely sane book."--Roy Porter, Nature

"Unlike traditional historical accounts of disease, Approaching Hysteria examines the history of hysteria from a variety of perspectives and disciplines of medicine. . . . [Summarizes] an impressive array of studies that place historical accounts of hysteria within social, political, legal, religious, and literary contexts. The book's strength lies in its being an interdisciplinary and comprehensive history that avoids singular or narrow interpretations. . . . Whether or not hysteria is a thing of the past, however, Approaching Hysteria is a worthwhile and enjoyable read for the present. It will have obvious appeal to anyone interested in the history of medicine and will fascinated those who want to add nuance and insight to their current understanding of hysteria."--Cynthia Stonnington, M.D., New England Journal of Medicine

"[An] enthralling account of the history of one particular disease-hysteria. . . . [Micale] uses hysteria to illuminate the history of ideas, tracing it through its diverse appearances in the psychiatric, neurological, literary, feminist, psychoanalytic, sociological, and historical literatures."--Simon Wessely, British Medical Journal

"An excellent, comprehensive historical view of a much misunderstood disorder."--Choice

"Micale has made an important contribution to the historical understanding of hysteria; his breadth of scholarship is remarkable and his open-minded approach a refreshing contrast to the many ideological axe-grinders."--Hugh Freeman, The Times Higher Education Supplement

"[Micale] is learned in the new scholarship, which he surveys comprehensively, judges intelligently, and writes about with lucid insight. . . . Approaching Hysteria is a most timely, informative, and stimulating book. It deserves a place on the shelf of major modern works on hysteria."--Theodore M. Brown, Lancet


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