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Book and Media Reviews
February 20, 2008

Asylum: A Mid-Century Madhouse and Its Lessons About Our Mentally Ill Today

JAMA. 2008;299(7):841-842. doi:10.1001/jama.299.7.841

This book is a good read, and not only for mental health professionals. It also has relevance for lawyers, lawmakers, civil planners, and administrators. It is actually 2 books in 1, containing the memoirs of a feisty and acutely observant young psychiatry resident in the late 1940s and the biographies of a great but now bygone psychiatric institution, the Worcester State Mental Hospital, and its short-lived but noteworthy offshoot, the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology.