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Madness Is Civilization – When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948–1980 - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Madness Is Civilization: When the Diagnosis Was Social, 1948–1980

Michael E. Staub


In the 1960s and 1970s, a popular diagnosis for America’s problems was that society was becoming a madhouse. This intellectual and cultural history examines a time when many believed insanity was a sane reaction to obscene social conditions, psychiatrists were agents of repression, asylums were gulags for society’s undesirables, and mental illness was a concept with no medical basis. It explores the general consensus that societal ills—from dysfunctional marriage and family dynamics to the Vietnam War, racism, and sexism—were at the root of mental illness. The book chronicles the surge in infl ... More

Keywords: insanity, repression, asylums, mental illness, Vietnam War, racism, sexism, psychodynamic theories, radical therapy, psychiatric survivors movements

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780226771472
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226771496.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael E. Staub, author

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