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Autism in History: The Case of Hugh Blair of Borgue Paperback – December 19, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0631220893 ISBN-10: 0631220895 Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


"This is a comprehensive history, charting thinking, practice andtheories from the late 1930s to the present day . . . Recommended -a much-needed addition to the autism library." (CommunicationMagazine, 1 April 2011)

"I found this book utterly absorbing and utterly convincing. Therichness of historical detail - testimonies and actualinterrogations - and its telling hold one like a novel. The minutesifting of the evidence is in the best historico-clinicaltradition, weighing everything carefully, never overstating orpushing. The interest spreads in all directions - about the way thelaw, the culture, and ordinary people thought of mental incapacityor madness in the eighteenth century. I think Autism inHistory will be extremely valuable in many different ways."Oliver Sacks M.D. Author of Awakenings

"The authors guide us through the case with an expert hand, in abook written for a wide range of non-specialist readers. What'smore, the book constitutes a unique introduction to autism,presenting both its scientific and clinical aspects, as well as theperson and their social circumstances. A stimulating read."Infancia y Aprendizaje, vol 24(2), 2001.

"Rab Houston and Uta Frith provide a splendid case study ofprobably autism from eighteenth-century Scotland. Houston and Frithare to be congratulated in their synthesis of the evidence for HughBlair of Borgue being a case of autism in history. They have doneso in a manner and style that is as cautious as it is thorough."Stephen Jones, Norfolk Mental Health Care Trust, Social Historyof Medicine, vol 14 (2), 2001.

"This is a fascinating book." RH Campbell, Transactions, Vol75, 2001

"In presenting Hugh Blair, a member of the landowning class ineighteenth-century Scotland, Autism in History demonstratesa refreshing lack of squeamishness ... Although Houston and Frithconclude confidently that they are looking at a case of the samecondition we now call autism, they remain sensitive to the waysthat historical conditions could influence the perception orpresentation of the disorder. In addition, Houston and Frith amassconvincing data to show that Blair was, in fact, autistic. It mightbe possible to quibble with their retrospective diagnosis, but theymake a highly plausible case." Jonathan Sadowsky, CasteleAssociate Professor of Medical History, Case Western ReserveUniversity, Journal of the History of the Behavioural Sciences,Fall 2003

Book Description

Written in a lively style, this unique collaboration between a social historian & a cognitive scientist studies the case of an 18th century Scottish landowner who, regarded as a "fool", was actually autistic.

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