Revue de presse
Goldberg is equally good at showing how patients tried to overcome the immense power gradient between them and the doctors, and how their efforts so often succeeded only in confirming a diagnosis of insanity. (Isabel V. Hull, German History 18,3.)
One of Goldberg's most important accomplishments is to restore religion to its central place in the development of modern insanity. (Isabel V. Hull, German History 18,3.)
Ann Goldberg has written an excellent social histor of madness in the first decades of the modern insane asylum ... a sensitive micro-study. (Isabel V. Hull, German History, 18,3.)
"Goldberg's rigorous, penetrating, and suggestive investigation of social values and the development of psychiatric practices in Vormaerz Germany offers more than just fascinating glimpses of life in and around a typical asylum....Lucid text, detailed citations, and comprehensive bibliography. Highly recommended."--Choice
"Goldberg's remarkable study of mental illness in early nineteenth-century Germany places the phenomenon of insanity squarely within the context of a late absolutist regime and a crisis-ridden, impoverished social and economic order. Her account of the gendered structuring of madness, its bureaucratic politics, and its connections to religious enthusiasm and religious prejudice offers an unexpected but extraordinarily illuminating insight into state and society in Germany before the revolution of 1848."--Jonathan Sperber, University of Missouri
"Goldberg's enterprise is an original and long-missed contribution to the social and cultural history of madness in the first half of the nineteenth century. Her work provides at the same time valuable insights into the broader field of the history of peasant culture and social experience, especially in the rural world of Nassau. The strength of Goldberg's work is an outstanding and sensitive interpretation of the individual's experience of madness as a language of distress and dissent in rural lower-class culture that was shaped by gender and ethnicity."--Doris Kaufmann, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
"Ann Goldberg's new book opens a challenging new dimension of nineteenth-century German social history. We've had histories of asylums and medicalization in other national fields for some years, likewise a profusion of works on the formation of Germany's bourgeois culture. There is even the kernel of a literature on early nineteenth-century German rural society. Now Goldberg has beautifully brought together these concerns. This fascinating exploration of sexualities, religion, and the modern pedagogies of order takes us to the frontier of bourgeois culture and rural society, where ordinary people learned how to be ill. This is a 'micro' history that compels the 'macro' to listen."--Geoff Eley, The University of Michigan
Présentation de l'éditeur
Drawing on the case records of several hundred asylum patients, Sex, Religion, and the Making of Modern Madness reconstructs the encounters of state officials and medical practitioners with peasant madness and deviancy during a transitional period in the history of both Germany and psychiatry. As author Ann Goldberg explains, this era witnessed the establishment of psychiatry as a legitimate medical specialty during a time of social upheaval, as Germany underwent the shift toward a capitalist order and the modern state. Focusing on such "illnesses" as religious madness, nymphomania, and masturbatory insanity, as well as the construct of Jewishness, she probes the daily encounters in which psychiatric categories were applied, experienced, and resisted within the settings of family, village, and insane asylum.
The book is a model of microhistory, breaking new ground in the historiography of psychiatry as it synthetically applies approaches from "the history of everyday life," anthropology, poststructuralism, and feminist studies. In contrast to earlier, anecdotal studies of "the asylum patient," Goldberg employs diagnostic patterns to illuminate the ways in which madness--both in psychiatric practice and in the experience of patients--was structured by gender, class, and "race." She thus examines both the social basis of rural mental trauma in the Vormärz and the political and medical practices that sought to refashion this experience.
This study sheds light on a range of issues concerning gender, religion, class relations, ethnicity, and state-building. It will appeal to students and scholars of a number of disciplines.