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Madness in Buenos Aires: Patients, Psychiatrists and the Argentine State, 1880-1983 (Ohio RIS Latin America Series) Paperback – October 28, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Ablard… shows something that many scholars have suspected but no one has been able to prove: that despite discourses and intentions, the Argentine state has been historically weak and therefore its ability for exercising social control has been very limited. I hope that Ablard’s book will encourage other scholars to take a fresh look at other dimensions of social control in Argentina.”
— Mariano Ben Plotkin, author of Argentina on the Couch: Psychiatry, State, and Society, 1880 to the Present


“This book is thoroughly researched and full of compelling case studies interwoven with convincing analysis.”
American Historical Review


“(A) robust institutional history of the country’s psychiatric regime.”
The Americas


“A particular strength of Madness in Buenos Aires are the multiple perspectives that emerge from the at-times heart wrenching narratives from inside the asylums, in which not only the patients and their families but well-meaning doctors suffered tragic setbacks. Thus Ablard’s book adds important new dimensions to our understanding of the acceleration of modernity in turn-of-the-century Argentina and its concomitant social effects, a subject of great interest to scholars who study this South American nation.”
Journal of Social History


“Like the very best historical and cultural documents, Ablard’s book tells us as much about ourselves as it does about its putative subject matter. It brings to our attention the inter-relationship of class, poverty, social stigma and social division. It is rich in detail (there are 60 pages of notes and another 20 of references), and he skillfully uses both personal research and archival material, but the books remains accessible and absorbing.”
metapsychology


“Madness in Buenos Aires is a convincing and carefully researched study of Buenos Aires psychiatric institutions between the 1880s and 1980s…. Ablard’s main argument underlines the weakness of the Argentine state and its mental institutions in their intended policing and coercive functions…. It is another scholarly work that underlines the need of dealing very carefully with the complex issue of social control in history.”
Hispanic American Historical Review


“In Madness in Buenos Aires, Jonathan Ablard convincingly demonstrates that Argentine psychiatric institutions were not the agents of social control that Foucauldian scholars have maintained they were in Europe and the United States. While Argentina had the most developed system of mental hospitals in Latin America, according to Ablard a weak state limited these institutions' policing and coercive functions.... (T)his is a well written, carefully researched contribution to the history of medicine in Latin America and a refreshing revision to the now accepted wisdom that these institutions served as instruments of political policing and social control.”
Social History of Medicine

Review

“Ablard … shows something that many scholars have suspected but no one has been able to prove: that despite discourses and intentions, the Argentine state has been historically weak and therefore its ability for exercising social control has been very limited. I hope that Ablard’s book will encourage other scholars to take a fresh look at other dimensions of social control in Argentina.” -- Mariano Ben Plotkin, author of Argentina on the Couch: Psychiatry, State, and Society, 1880 to the Present --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ohio RIS Latin America Series (Book 47)
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: University of Calgary Press, Ohio University Press; 1 edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896802590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896802599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,127,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The mentally ill have been treated in different attitudes throughout history, ranging from compassion and tolerance to persecution and institutionalization. "Madness in Buenos Aires: Patients, Psychiatrists, and the Argentine State, 1880-1983" by Jonathan D. Ablard carefully examines the history of Argentina and how that country dealt with its mentally unstable for over a century. Going over the history of the practices and what they did right and what they did wrong, "Madness in Buenos Aires" presents a vivid and detailed picture of how a non-American country dealt with its psychological health problems. A work of seminal scholarship, "Madness in Buenos Aires" is a study worth reading for historians and non-specialist general readers with an interest in mental health issues and history.
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