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Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason Paperback – November 28, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the biggest questions Foucault strives to answer is whether or not madness is a social construction. In exploring the idea, the author is able to negate many classical ideas that have dominated culture in recent years. He even relates treatment of madness to the process that eliminated leprosy as he states, "the formulas of exclusion would be strangely repeated" with "poor vagabonds, criminals and `deranged minds'."
While this book centers on the treatment of the insane in the clinical settings, it also explores other facets of mental health. In this book, Foucault talks about early doctors and nurses in psychiatry. He also explores the relationship between religious fanaticism and the concept of moral treatment for those who were deemed insane. This makes for an intriguing book that is also easily accessible for readers of varying levels.
Foucault is also the author of the book "Discipline & Punish: The Birth of the Prison", a book that is comparable to "Madness and Civilization". Both are books about society's reactions to something deemed "not normal." On the same topic, I really like the work of Sander Gilman, who applies his understanding of psychology and psychiatry to role as historian when writing the books Seeing the Insane.Read more ›
Those that fail to recognize this, both the cultural relativists and the reactionaries, reveal their own lack of critical thought and say little about the text's strengths or weaknesses.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is hard work , just down to the convoluted writing style . I have read birth of the prison system and really enjoy it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Martin Duffy
This is a search for the "ephemeral" and arbitrary dividing line between the normal and the abnormal, and the sane and the insane. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Hung-Tak Lee
Michel Foucault (1926-1984) was a French philosopher, historian of ideas, and social theorist and activist; he wrote many books, such as The Birth of the Clinic, Discipline &... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Steven H Propp
It's one of the more Important books in the long way of the science, and it wuill be.Published 21 months ago by anouska
A classic in the exercise of power.
Definition, coercion, and legitimation; politics with a medical guise, lovely stuff.
One of his better works. I prefer William Gibson if one is going to get descriptive and history can be wordily described without being nausea inspiring.Published on July 23, 2014 by Frank Snapp