The inspiration for the PBS series Mysterious of Mental Illness, Shrinks brilliantly tells the "astonishing" story of psychiatry's origins, demise, and redemption (Siddhartha Mukherjee).
Psychiatry has come a long way since the days of chaining "lunatics" in cold cells and parading them as freakish marvels before a gaping public.
But, as Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, the former president of the American Psychiatric Association, reveals in his extraordinary and eye-opening book, the path to legitimacy for "the black sheep of medicine" has been anything but smooth.
In Shrinks, Dr. Lieberman traces the field from its birth as a mystic pseudo-science through its adolescence as a cult of "shrinks" to its late blooming maturity — beginning after World War II — as a science-driven profession that saves lives. With fascinating case studies and portraits of the luminaries of the field — from Sigmund Freud to Eric Kandel — Shrinks is a gripping and illuminating read, and an urgent call-to-arms to dispel the stigma of mental illnesses by treating them as diseases rather than unfortunate states of mind.
“A lucid popular history...At once skeptical and triumphalist. It shows just how far psychiatry has come.” —Julia M. Klein, Boston Globe