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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.
From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the antipsychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.
Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers' beloved son Kevin - spirited, endearing, and gifted - who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.
A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.
©2017 Ron Powers (P)2017 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Very emotional...[Powers] reminds us how apathetic and cruel society can be when it comes to mental illness." (Booklist)
"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers (MarkTwain: A Life, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic sons.... This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a literary stylist, succeeds on every level." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Ron Powers and his wife never expected to visit the exotic lands of schizophrenia until their two sons became affected. A gifted professional writer, Powers takes the reader along on his explorations as he tries to understand why it happened and what to do. What he finds is 'the most dreaded of all human mental disorders.' Very readable and highly recommended." (E. Fuller Torrey, MD, author of Surviving Schizophrenia)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Amazon Customer on 05-15-17

Amazing.

I want to make this text required reading for my graduate students in Mental Health Counseling.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 08-17-17

Powerful

So grateful to Ron for sharing his son's stories and the research he provides about the history mental healthcare. Very moving and enlightening. There is so much work to be done in reforming the state of care for those suffering from mental illness.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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