Andrew Scull


On his book Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine

Cover Interview of December 14, 2016


Mental illness is something that touches all of us, directly or indirectly. It is something still poorly understood, and for which our treatments are mostly palliative at best. I hope my book can contribute to a deeper understanding of the myriad ways in which societies have sought to make sense of and cope with mental illness, of the challenges it represents, and the stigma that attaches to those who suffer from it, adding to and augmenting their misery. But I also think readers will find some more positive stories and meanings, not least in the great works of art and literature that find in madness their inspiration and their raison d’être.