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IMSS Book Club: This Way Madness Lies

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International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 North Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60610

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IMSS Book Club: Reading Between the Spines

Are you interested in diving deeper into the themes explored through our collections and exhibitions? Do you love reading? Then you’re in luck, IMSS has its very own book club!

Our next meeting will be Wednesday Setpember 11th, 2019. The Museum will be open from 5:30-7:30, but you can drop-in anytime during those hours.

At each meeting there will be a round table style book discussion, refreshments and an opportunity to either explore objects from our collections or get hands-on with interactive activities that are thematically relevant to the text.

This program is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 5:30 and the book discussion will begin around 6pm.

This time we're reading This Way Madness Lies by Mike Jay.

About the Book:

This Way Madness Lies is a thought-provoking exploration of the history of madness and its treatment as seen through the lens of its proverbial home: Bethlem Royal Hospital, London, popularly known as Bedlam. The book charts the evolution of the asylum through four incarnations: the eighteenth-century madhouse, the nineteenth century asylum, the twentieth-century mental hospital, and the post-asylum modern day, when mental health has become the concern of the wider community. The book reveals the role that the history of madness and its treatment has played in creating the landscape of the asylum, in all its iterations.

Moving and sometimes provocative illustrations sourced from the Wellcome Collection's extensive archives and the Bethlem Royal Hospital's archive highlight the trajectory of each successive era of institution: founded in the optimistic spirit of humanitarian reform but eventually dismantled amid accusations of cruelty and neglect. Each chapter concludes with a selection of revealing and captivating artwork created by some of the inmates of the institutions of that era.

This Way Madness Lies highlights fundamental questions that remain relevant and unresolved: What lies at the root of mental illness? Should sufferers be segregated from society or integrated more fully? And in today’s post-asylum society, what does the future hold for a world beyond Bedlam?

About the Author:

Mike Jay has written widely on the history of science and medicine, and particularly on the discovery of psychoactive drugs during the 18th and 19th centuries. His books on the subject include Emperors of Dreams: drugs in the nineteenth century (2000, revised edition 2011) and most recently High Society: mind-altering drugs in history and culture (2010), which accompanied the exhibition he curated at Wellcome Collection in London. The Atmosphere of Heaven is also the third book in his series of biographical narratives of political reformers in 1790s Britain. It follows The Air Loom Gang (2003, revised edition forthcoming 2012) and The Unfortunate Colonel Despard (2004).


Get the book from your favorite book store or online retailer. For this book we recommend heading to Volumes Bookcafe!: https://www.volumesbooks.com/book/9780500518977

OR

Check it out from regional libraries such as the Evanston Public Library: https://ccs.polarislibrary.com/polaris/search/title.aspx?ctx=19.1033.0.0.2&pos=1

or the Berwyn Public Library:

https://catalog.swanlibraries.net/client/en_US/bys/search/detailnonmodal/ent:$002f$002fSD_ILS$002f0$002fSD_ILS:1591195/ada?qu=this+way+madness+lies#detail_accordion0

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International Museum of Surgical Science

1524 North Lake Shore Drive

Chicago, IL 60610

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