Chapter 1: Madness unbound
Jonathan Andrews, Asa Briggs, Roy Porter, Penny Tucker, and Keir Waddington, The History of Bethlem (London: Routledge, 1997). An up-to-date, collectively authored volume on the history of the English-speaking world’s most famous asylum, from its medieval origins to the end of the 20th century.
Stanley W. Jackson, Melancholia and Depression from Hippocratic Times to Modern Times (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986). A reliable synthesis.
James M. Longrigg, Greek Rational Medicine (London: Routledge, 1993). A review of the tradition within which the ancients thought about mania and melancholia.
Vivian Nutton, Ancient Medicine (London: Routledge, 2004). A valuable overview of Western medicine in the classical period.
Bennett Simon, Mind and Madness in Ancient Greece (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1980). A stimulating overview.
Chapter 2: Madness in chains
Jonathan Andrews and Andrew Scull, Undertaker of the Mind: John Monro and Mad-Doctoring in Eighteenth Century England (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001). A wide-ranging examination of the place of madness in 18th-century culture and society.
Max Byrd, Visits to Bedlam: Madness and Literature in the Eighteenth Century (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1974).
George Cheyne, The English Malady, reprint edn., ed. Roy Porter (London: Routledge, 1991). Porter’s editorial introduction provides useful perspective on a psychiatric classic.
Michael V. Deporte, Nightmares and Hobbyhorses: Swift, Sterne, and Augustan Ideas of Madness (San Marino, California: Huntingdon Library, 1974).
Michel Foucault, Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (London: Tavistock, 1971). An abbreviated translation of a highly controversial and widely influential revisionist interpretation of the place of madness in the West, which places particular emphasis on the 17th and 18th centuries, and more often than not uses France as a proxy for ’civilization’.
Richard Hunter and Ida Macalpine (eds.), Three Hundred Years of Psychiatry, 1535—1860 (London: Oxford University Press, 1963). A remarkable anthology, with useful editorial introductions by the editors.
Michael MacDonald, Mystical Bedlam: Madness, Anxiety, and Healing in Seventeenth Century England (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981). A sophisticated and nuanced discussion.
Erik H. C. Midelfort, A History of Madness in Sixteenth Century Germany (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997).
Roy Porter, Mind Forg’d Manacles: A History of Madness in England from the Restoration to the Regency (London: Athlone, 1987). A typically high-spirited overview.
Duncan Salkeld, Madness and Drama in the Age of Shakespeare (Manchester: University of Manchester Press, 1993).
Chapter 3: Madness confined
Lisa Appignanesi, Mad, Bad and Sad: A History of Women and the Mind-Doctors from 1800 to the Present (London: Virago, 2008). A very readable recent interpretation of the intersections of gender, madness, and psychiatry.
Robert Castel, The Regulation of Madness: The Origins of Incarceration in France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988). An interpretation of the rise of the asylum by one of Foucault’s circle.
Ian Dowbiggin, Inheriting Madness: Professionalization and Psychiatric Knowledge in Nineteenth Century France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991). The rise and influence of degeneration as an explanation of madness.
Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001). The politics of professionalization in 19th-century France.
David Rothman, The Discovery of the Asylum: Social Order and Disorder in the New Republic (Boston: Little, Brown, 1971). The rise of the asylum in the United States, viewed through the prism of social control.
Andrew Scull, The Most Solitary of Afflictions: Madness and Society in Britain, 1700—1900 (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993). The construction of museums of madness.
Andrew Scull, Nicholas Hervey, and Charlotte MacKenzie, Masters of Bedlam: The Transformation of the Mad-Doctoring Trade (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). The creation of psychiatry in 19th-century Britain, examined through a series of linked biographies of major figures.
Akihito Suzuki, Madness at Home: The Psychiatrist, the Patient, and the Family in England, 1820—1860 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006). Domestic care of the insane in the early years of the asylum era.
Nancy Tomes, A Generous Confidence: Thomas Story Kirkbride and the Art of Asylum Keeping, 1840—1883 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984). An impressive study of an American asylum for the upper classes, which usefully explores the perspectives of patients and their families.
Chapter 4: Madness and meaning
Joel Braslow, Mental Ills and Bodily Cures: Psychiatric Treatment in the First Half of the Twentieth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). The use of a variety of somatic treatments for mental illness, seen through the prism of clinical practice in California’s mental hospitals.
Eric J. Engstrom, Clinical Psychiatry in Imperial Germany: A History of Psychiatric Practice (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004). A detailed and thoughtful examination of psychiatry in Germany from the mid-19th century to the First World War.
Nathan G. Hale, Jr, Freud and the Americans: The Beginnings of Psychoanalysis in the United States, 1876—1917 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1971).
Nathan G. Hale, Jr, The Rise and Crisis of Psychoanalysis in the United States: Freud and the Americans, 1917—1985 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995). A useful two-volume study by a psychoanalytic true believer.
George Makari, Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis (New York: HarperCollins, 2008). A judicious, sympathetic, and wide-ranging examination of the rise of psychoanalysis through the mid-20th century.
Jack D. Pressman, Last Resort: Psychosurgery and the Limits of Medicine (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998). A sympathetic (perhaps overly sympathetic) reinterpretation of the place of lobotomy in the history of psychiatry.
Andrew Scull, Madhouse: A Tragic Tale of Megalomania and Modern Medicine (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005). The vulnerability of the mad to therapeutic enthusiasms.
Andrew Scull, Hysteria: The Biography (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009). A history of a controversial, now officially defunct, disorder on the borderlands of madness.
Chapter 5: Madness denied
Albert Deutsch, The Shame of the States (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1948). The classic journalistic indictment of America’s mental hospitals in the years following the Second World War.
Bruce Ennis and Thomas Litwack, ’Psychiatry and the Presumption of Expertise: Flipping Coins in the Courtroom’, California Law Review, 62 (1974): 693—752. A highly critical survey by two lawyers of the literature on the reliability of psychiatric diagnoses.
Erving Goffman, Asylums (Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1961). The famous analysis of the mental hospital as a total institution.
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (New York: Viking, 1962). The counter-cultural critique of psychiatry in the form of a best-selling novel, later a famous film.
Ronald D. Laing, The Divided Self (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1960).
Ronald D. Laing and Aaron Esterson, Sanity, Madness and the Family (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1964). The books that made R. D. Laing a sixties’ guru.
Paul Lerner, Hysterical Men: War, Psychiatry, and the Politics of Trauma in Germany, 1890—1930 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2003). Shell shock from the German perspective.
David Rosenhan, ’On Being Sane in Insane Places’, Science, 179, 19 January 1973: 250—8. A famous social psychological experiment that heightened concerns about the reliability of psychiatric diagnoses, and provoked fury among the psychiatric profession.
Thomas J. Scheff, Being Mentally Ill (Chicago: Aldine, 1966). The locus classicus of the sociological claim that mental illness was all a matter of labelling.
Ben Shephard, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists, 1914—1994 (London: Pimlico Books, 2002). The best single treatment of its subject.
Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness (New York: Hoeber, 1961). The Ur-text of the anti-psychiatry movement.
Chapter 6: Madness cast out
Catherine D. DeAmgelis and Philip B. Fontanarosa, ’Impugning the Integrity of Medical Science: The Adverse Effects of Industry Influence’, Journal of the American Medical Association, 299 (2008): 1833—5. Commentary on data manipulation and misrepresentation by the pharmaceutical industry and its allies.
Allen Frances, ’Opening Pandora’s Box: The 19 Worst Suggestions for DSM-5’, Psychiatric Times, 27 (2), 11 February 2010. Critical commentary on the potential consequences of changes in the next edition of the Diagnostical and Statistical Manual for the diagnosis of mental illness.
Gerald Grob, From Asylum to Community: Mental Health Policy in Modern America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991). A history of deinstitutionalization in the United States that largely glosses over its problematic impact.
David Healy, The Anti-Depressant Era (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1997). A major study of the psychopharmacological revolution.
David Healy, Mania: A Short History of Bipolar Disorder (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). Psychiatry, Big Pharma, and the reconstruction of mental illness.
Herb Kutchins and S. A. Kirk, Making Us Crazy: The Psychiatric Bible and the Creation of Mental Disorders (New York: Free Press, 1997). An examination of the construction of the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, the decisive event in the rise of neo-Kraepelinian psychiatry.
C. Seth Landefeld and Michael A. Steinman, ’The Neurontin Legacy: Marketing through Misinformation and Manipulation’, New England Journal of Medicine, 360 (2009): 103—6. An example of the kinds of deceit practised by the pharmaceutical industry as exposed by class action litigation, here including techniques for ’off-label’ marketing of a drug for treatment of ’bi-polar’ disorder.
Andrew Scull, Decarceration: Community Treatment and the Deviant (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1977). An early critical examination of the emptying of mental hospitals.
Judith Swazey, Chlorpromazine and Psychiatry (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1974). A useful, if flawed, history of the introduction of the first ’anti-psychotic’ drug, Thorazine.