New PDF release: American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History

By Jenell Johnson

American Lobotomy stories a large choice of representations of lobotomy to supply a rhetorical historical past of 1 of the main notorious methods within the background of drugs. the improvement of lobotomy in 1935 was once heralded as a “miracle medication” that may empty the nation’s perennially blighted asylums. besides the fact that, purely two decades later, lobotomists in the beginning praised for his or her “therapeutic braveness” have been condemned for his or her barbarity, a picture that has basically soured in next many years. Johnson employs formerly deserted texts like technology fiction, horror movie, political polemics, and conspiracy thought to teach how lobotomy’s entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a strong picture of the operation that persists to at the present time. The booklet provocatively demanding situations the heritage of drugs, arguing that rhetorical background is important to realizing scientific historical past. It bargains a case examine of the way drugs accumulates that means because it circulates in public tradition and argues for the necessity to comprehend biomedicine as a culturally located perform.

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18 Although Grinker granted that anxiety could breach “a certain pathological threshold,” he also maintained that even strong Thinking with the Thalamus 35 anxiety could prove beneficial by motivating individuals to persevere in the face of difficulty (186). Although Grinker didn’t critique the medicalization of emotion per se, he focused his opposition to lobotomy on the contingent nature of emotional impairment that served as its scientific foundation. Walter Freeman regarded Roy Grinker and his arguments with thinly veiled contempt.

600–­601, original emphasis) Bingham tells her audience that the public sees them equally as “gods” and “devils,” adding, “there doesn’t seem to be any ceiling on what we’re willing to believe about you” (600). As psychiatrists have grown ever more marvelous in American public culture, so have their tools. Converse, for example, recently released “The Straightjacket,” a shoe line covered in straps. The Internet game World of Warcraft features the power of “electroshock,” which players can use to stun opponents into submission.

The few times I have shown it to others, many can’t look, or if they do, they quickly look away. Rodney, however, claims to be unmoved. “It’s just a picture,” he tells the producer (237). In a second interview, Howard is more direct and asks his father if he is owed an apology. Rodney is adamant: “No. Because it serves absolutely no purpose. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by holding a grudge” (246). For Rodney, to feel what had happened was not just to remember the past, but to return there, to dwell there, and perhaps to take responsibility for what had happened.

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