American lobotomy
Jenell M. Johnson
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Last edited by Clean Up Bot
November 13, 2020 | History
An edition of American lobotomy (2014)

American lobotomy

a rhetorical history

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This edition was published in

Written in English

220 pages

"American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History takes one of the most infamous procedures in the history of medicine as its subject. Through a close study of representations of lobotomy in a wide variety of cultural texts, American Lobotomy offers a rhetorical history of the infamous procedure and illustrates its continued effect on American medicine. The development of lobotomy in 1935 was heralded as a "miracle cure" by newspapers and magazines, which hoped openly that the "soul surgery" would empty the nation's perennially blighted asylums. However, the miracle cure soon began to fall from favor with the American public, as the operation became characterized as a barbaric practice with suspiciously authoritarian overtones. Only twenty years after the first operation, lobotomists initially praised for their "therapeutic courage" were condemned for their barbarity, an image that has only soured in subsequent decades. Taking on previously abandoned texts like science fiction, horror film, political polemics, and conspiracy theory, Johnson employs these discarded texts to write a rhetorical history of the operation, showing how lobotomy's entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a powerful image of the operation that persists to this day. In a provocative challenge to the history of medicine, American Lobotomy argues that lobotomy's rhetorical history is crucial to understanding lobotomy's medical history, offering a case study of how medicine accumulates meaning as it circulates in public culture, and it stands as an argument for the need to understand biomedicine as a culturally situated practice." -- Publisher's description.

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American lobotomy: a rhetorical history
2014
in English

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American lobotomy

First published in 2014



Work Description

"American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History takes one of the most infamous procedures in the history of medicine as its subject. Through a close study of representations of lobotomy in a wide variety of cultural texts, American Lobotomy offers a rhetorical history of the infamous procedure and illustrates its continued effect on American medicine. The development of lobotomy in 1935 was heralded as a "miracle cure" by newspapers and magazines, which hoped openly that the "soul surgery" would empty the nation's perennially blighted asylums. However, the miracle cure soon began to fall from favor with the American public, as the operation became characterized as a barbaric practice with suspiciously authoritarian overtones. Only twenty years after the first operation, lobotomists initially praised for their "therapeutic courage" were condemned for their barbarity, an image that has only soured in subsequent decades. Taking on previously abandoned texts like science fiction, horror film, political polemics, and conspiracy theory, Johnson employs these discarded texts to write a rhetorical history of the operation, showing how lobotomy's entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a powerful image of the operation that persists to this day. In a provocative challenge to the history of medicine, American Lobotomy argues that lobotomy's rhetorical history is crucial to understanding lobotomy's medical history, offering a case study of how medicine accumulates meaning as it circulates in public culture, and it stands as an argument for the need to understand biomedicine as a culturally situated practice." -- Publisher's description.

American lobotomy

a rhetorical history

This edition was published in


Edition Description

"American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History takes one of the most infamous procedures in the history of medicine as its subject. Through a close study of representations of lobotomy in a wide variety of cultural texts, American Lobotomy offers a rhetorical history of the infamous procedure and illustrates its continued effect on American medicine. The development of lobotomy in 1935 was heralded as a "miracle cure" by newspapers and magazines, which hoped openly that the "soul surgery" would empty the nation's perennially blighted asylums. However, the miracle cure soon began to fall from favor with the American public, as the operation became characterized as a barbaric practice with suspiciously authoritarian overtones. Only twenty years after the first operation, lobotomists initially praised for their "therapeutic courage" were condemned for their barbarity, an image that has only soured in subsequent decades. Taking on previously abandoned texts like science fiction, horror film, political polemics, and conspiracy theory, Johnson employs these discarded texts to write a rhetorical history of the operation, showing how lobotomy's entanglement with social and political narratives contributed to a powerful image of the operation that persists to this day. In a provocative challenge to the history of medicine, American Lobotomy argues that lobotomy's rhetorical history is crucial to understanding lobotomy's medical history, offering a case study of how medicine accumulates meaning as it circulates in public culture, and it stands as an argument for the need to understand biomedicine as a culturally situated practice." -- Publisher's description.

Table of Contents

Thinking with the thalamus : the rhetoric of emotional impairment
Domesticated women and docile boys : lobotomy and gender in the popular press
Someone else : the Cold War politics of personality change
The rhetorical return of lobotomy : the campaign against psychosurgery
Not our father's lobotomy : memories of lobotomy in the new age of psychosurgery
How Weston State Hospital became the trans-Allegheny lunatic asylum; or, the birth of Dr. Monster
Epilogue : haunted history.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (pages 191-213) and index.

Series
Corporealities: Discourses of disability, Corporealities
Copyright Date
2014

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
617.4/81
Library of Congress
RD594 .J64 2014

The Physical Object

Pagination
220 pages
Number of pages
220

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL27191371M
ISBN 10
0472119443
ISBN 13
9780472119448
LC Control Number
2014017457
OCLC/WorldCat
879416961

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