Our Necessary Shadow (Hardcover)
The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry
Pegasus Books, 9781605985701, 384pp.
Publication Date: June 15, 2014
Other Editions of This Title:
The first attempt in forty years to explain the full subject of psychiatry, from one of the world’s experts.
In what will be a tour de force in the field of psychiatry in all its complexity and depth, this important new volume explores the essential paradox of psychiatry—and offers a balanced understanding of its history and development in the medical world. Much is written about psychiatry, but very little that describes psychiatry itself. Why should there be such a need? For good or ill, psychiatry is a polemical battleground, criticized on the one hand as an instrument of social control, while on the other the latest developments in neuroscience are trumpeted as lasting solutions to mental illness.
Which of these strikingly contrasting positions should we believe? This is the first attempt in a generation to explain the whole subject of psychiatry. in this deeply thoughtful, descriptive, and sympathetic book, Tom Burns reviews the historical development of psychiatry, throughout alert to where psychiatry helps, and where it is imperfect. What is clear is that mental illnesses are intimately tied to what makes us human in the first place. and the drive to relieve the suffering they cause is even more human.
Psychiatry, for all its flaws, currently represents our best attempt to discharge this most human of impulses. it is not something we can just ignore. it is our necessary shadow.
About the Author
Praise For Our Necessary Shadow: The Nature and Meaning of Psychiatry…
[A] fascinating analysis of the scientific and medical exploration of the mind. Burns brings a carefully measured combination of personal and professional experience. Throughout this insightful and learned book, Burns poses questions, and offers some answers, that reveal the problematic nature of his profession and establish him as a thoughtful, erudite guide through a demanding landscape.
Displaying the dignified passion of someone trying to construct a better world, Burns shows us psychiatry's triumphs and is frank about its pitfalls.
— Andrew Solomon, author of Far from the Tree
A readable overview of the history and development of psychiatry.
A comprehensive history and analysis of the practice of psychiatry...A responsible, evenhanded exploration of a highly provocative medical industry.
Provocative, well-researched, and well-suited to interested lay readers looking for insight into medicine and the mind.
In his cool and rational book Our Necessary Shadow, Burns makes a powerful case.
Tom Burns is calm, sympathetic, and willing to listen to a wide variety of views. Just the person you would like to be in charge of your care if you were assailed by madness.