The Last Asylum

The Last Asylum

A Memoir of Madness in Our Times

Book - 2014
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In July 1988, Canadian-born historian Barbara Taylor was admitted into Friern, a once-notorious asylum for the insane. An enlightening book for students and practitioners of psychiatry and psychoanalysis, and for any reader with an interest in sociology. This searingly honest, thought-provoking, and beautifully written memoir is the narrative of the author's years of madness, set inside the wider story of our treatment of psychiatric illness from the great age of asylums to the current era of community care, big pharma, and quick fixes. Barbara Taylor is a longstanding editor of the leading history journal History Workshop Journal and a director of the Raphael Samuel History Centre.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario, Canada :, Hamish Hamilton,, 2014
ISBN: 9780143191599
Branch Call Number: 616.890092 TAY NVD
Characteristics: 295 pages


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Apr 12, 2016

The book Jacket says, "The Lived Past is never really past." Barbara Taylor has written the story of her past - 'a memoir of madness' as she calls it. One cannot but feel compassionate towards her; but is all her suffering really necessary? I would question her decision to undergo/continue with psychoanalysis. Given the progress in psychiatry and treatment of psychiatric condition there was absolutely no reason for Taylor to go through all that she did. Also, the title is misleading. The book deals not only with "The Last Asylum" but is also a history of Psychiatric Hospitals in London. Not all readers want to read about these. One also wonders if the sexual overtones present throughout are real or thrown in to perk readers' interest.

Apr 01, 2015

The book, in a form of a very candid memoir, is dense with historical facts and medical knowledge of mental illness.
Extremely eloquent writing.
"Madness touches us all in hidden places..."

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