268 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 5 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4844-6
Published: March 2019
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4843-9
Published: March 2019
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4845-3
Published: February 2019
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Drawing from these institutions' untapped archives, Gonaver reveals how slavery influenced ideas about patient liberty, about the proper relationship between caregiver and patient, about what constituted healthy religious belief and unhealthy fanaticism, and about gender. This early form of psychiatric care acted as a precursor to public health policy for generations, and Gonaver's book fills an important gap in the historiography of mental health and race in the nineteenth century.
About the Author
Wendy Gonaver is archives assistant at the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives at Chapman University.
For more information about Wendy Gonaver, visit the Author Page.
“Provides a fascinating glimpse of the origins of humane treatment of the mentally ill and a sound indictment of nineteenth-century pseudoscientific thought.”--Choice
“Eminently readable . . . . A great addition to the literature on asylums.”--Journal of Social History
"Gonaver's monograph is a truly illuminating addition to canons of American medical history and racialized society, one that will inspire and fascinate students and scholars of slavery and madness in the nineteenth century."--Journal of the Civil War Era
"Based on impeccable research and a deep excavation of the surviving records, Gonaver has rightly identified an important subject of historical investigation: the ways in which Southern institutions contributed to the development of modern American medicine."--Jim Downs, author of Sick from Freedom: African American Illness and Suffering during the Civil War and Reconstruction
"Gonaver's meticulous attention to both individual patients and broader patterns of treatment make this a valuable study of nineteenth-century asylums. The Peculiar Institution and the Making of Modern Psychiatry, 1840–1880 reveals how the key institutions of societal power--slavery, race, religion, marriage, and medical science--shaped both daily practices of care and debates over appropriate therapy."--Sharla Fett, Occidental College