The fascinating story of psychiatry's origins, demise, and redemption, by the former President of the American Psychiatric Association. 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, 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.
Jeffrey A. Lieberman, MD, is the Lawrence C. Kolb Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Director of the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Formerly the President of the American Psychiatric Association, in 2000 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. He lives with his wife and two sons in New York City.