Robert Whitaker - Mad in America.pdf

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Robert Whitaker ’s articles on the men-
tally ill and the drug industry have won
several awards, including the George
Polk award for medical writing, and
the National Association of Science
Writers award for best magazine arti-
cle. A series he co-wrote for The Boston
Globe was named a finalist for the
Pulitzer Prize in 1998. Whitaker lives in
Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Photgraph by B. D. Cohen/ADIOL
Praise for Mad in America
“An articulate dissection of ‘mad medicine.’ . . . A horrifying
Booklist (starred review)
“This book’s lessons about the medical dangers of greed, ego
and sham are universal and couldn’t be more timely. . . .
People should read this excellent book.”
Baltimore Sun
“An insightful and haunting tale.”
National Journal
“A powerfully disturbing reading experience.... Whitaker’s
book does a singular service in reminding us that authority of
all sorts—medical, state, or the unholy combination of both
that has frequently defined psychiatry—is always in danger of
shifting into tyranny.”
“A disturbing book; it should be carefully studied by those
who care for, or about, the mentally ill.”
Psychology Today
“The most important bit of mental health muckraking since
Deutsch’s The Shame of the States was published in 1948.”
—In These Times
“Robert Whitaker has written a fascinating and provocative
book—a history of the way Americans understand schizophre-
nia and attempt to treat it, each twist and turn of which is
marked by the hubris that at last we have the answer. And as
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he makes clear, we still do not, nor are we anywhere near as
humane in caring for the schizophrenics in our midst as we
think we are.”
—Marcia Angell, M.D., Harvard Medical School, former
Editor-in-Chief, New England Journal of Medicine
“Serious and well documented.”
American Scientist
Mad in America is a dose of truth therapy for a seriously dis-
turbed mental health system.... This courageous book made
me want to stand up and cheer.”
—David Oaks, Director, Support Coalition International
“Controversial . . . [Whitaker] marshals a surprising amount
of evidence.”
Chicago Tribune
“[ Mad in America ] is mandatory reading.”
—Philadelphia Inquirer
“Investigative journalism at its scholarly, perceptive, and ex-
planatory best. Mad in America presents an insightful, coura-
geous exposé of how madness went from ‘out of mind, out of
sight’ to a source of massive corporate profits.”
—Loren R. Mosher, M.D., Clinical Professor of Psychiatry,
University of California at San Diego, and
former Chief, Center for Studies of Schizophrenia,
National Institute of Mental Health
“An extraordinarily well-researched work on a part of our his-
tory that most Americans don’t know the first thing about. A
simply fascinating read, whether you are involved in the
American mental health system or not.”
—Margot Kidder
Mad in America is a bleak look at the history of mental health
treatment. It calls for answers and accountability for practices
that can no longer be ignored.”
The Common Review
“This is such an important book that every psychiatrist should
be compelled to read at least the preface, every year. And
everyone else should then insist on them describing in writ-
ing, every year, what they’re doing about it.”
New Scientist
“This courageous and compelling book succeeds as both a
history of our attitudes toward mental illness and a manifesto
for changing them.”
Robert Whitaker
A Member of the Perseus Books Group
New York
Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their
products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this
book, and where Basic Books was aware of a trademark claim, the designations
have been printed in initial capital letters.
Copyright © 2002 by Robert Whitaker
Previously published by Perseus Publishing
Revised paperback published in 2010 by Basic Books,
A Member of the Perseus Books Group
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in
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Perseus Books Group, 2300 Chestnut Street, Suite 200, Philadelphia, PA 19103,
or call (800) 810-4145, ext. 5000, or e-mail
Text design by Trish Wilkinson
Set in 11-point New Baskerville by the Perseus Books Group
Library of Congress Control Number: 2003100535
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-465-02014-0
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To my parents
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