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Women and Madness: Revised and Updated Paperback – October 13, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-1403968975 ISBN-10: 1403968977 Edition: Rev Upd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; Rev Upd edition (October 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1403968977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1403968975
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Intense, rapid, brilliant. A pioneer contribution to the feminization of psychiatric thinking and practice."--Adrienne Rich, Front Page, The New York Times Book Review
"Challenges the definition of madness itself. No serious future studies will be able to ignore its theories or its very existence."--Gloria Steinem, Ms. Magazine
"A stunning book...absolutely fascinating...necessary to every woman in America."--Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Phyllis Chesler is the author of seminal works including the 2.5-million copy bestseller Women and Madness, as well as Letters to a Young Feminist and Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman. Her most recent book, The New Anti-Semitism, has won her international acclaim and sparked huge debate.
She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969), the National Women's Health Network (1974), and the International Committee for Women of the Wall (1989). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and is also affiliated with Haifa and Bar Ilan Universities. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on September 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Phyllis Chesler (born 1940) is an American writer, psychotherapist, and professor emeritus of psychology and women's studies at the College of Staten Island. She has written many other books.

She wrote in the Introduction to this 1972 book, "This is a book about female psychology... This is a book about the dramatically increasing numbers of American women of all classes and races, who are seen, or who see themselves, as 'neurotic' or 'psychotic,' and who seek psychotherapeutic help and/or are psychiatrically hospitalized. This is a book about the many 'whys' of such help-seeking behavior; about 'what' is experienced and viewed as in need of help; and about 'how' those women are---or aren't---helped."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"Today more women are seeking psychiatric help and being hospitalized than at any other time in history... There were significantly more women being 'helped' than their existence in the population would allow us to predict." (Pg. 33)
"I think (Dr. Thomas Szasz) underestimates the deeply conditioned nature of woman's compliance with her literal and psychological self-sacrifice. Many female mental patients ... commit themselves, quite voluntarily, to asylums or to private psychiatrists. The fear of economic, physical, and ... punishment teaches women to value their own sacrifice so highly that they quite 'naturally' perform it." (Pg. 106)
"Each woman, as patient... wants from a psychotherapist what she wants---and often cannot get---from a husband: attention, understanding, merciful relief, a personal solution---in the arms of the right husband, on the couch of the right therapist." (Pg.
Read more ›
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24 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Cathleen M. Walker VINE VOICE on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Chesler casts her clear eyed vision over the field of psychiatry/psychology and unveils the sexism that underlies the history and the practice of the "art." Who knows how much untold damage has been caused by those who understand little about women as a sex and could care less, as long as they establish their careers? Incorporating the mythology of women as metaphor, Chesler also paints a picture of how we, as women, have paid the price for patriarchal privilege. I read this book 20 years ago, and I just read it again. It was an enjoyable this time as it was then, maybe even more so, with the deeper understanding I have now about the roots of feminism.
The only thing I wish she had addressed in this revised edition is deinstitutionalization and its affects on women. Perhaps another time? Soon?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By nachrly on April 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Every woman should read this, not just women who are interested in psychology. The title can be a bit misleading--it's relevant to ;any woman's life. It was an amazing work the firsdt time, and the updated version is every bit as much of an eye-opener. Plus Chesler's writing is fresh an accessible. No jargon or pop-psych here, just solid and faxcinating insights.
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