The Crusade for Forgotten Souls: Reforming Minnesota's Mental Institutions, 1946-1954

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$22.95  $21.34
University of Minnesota Press
Publish Date
5.5 X 1.0 X 8.4 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author
Susan Bartlett Foote is professor emerita in the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, where she was head of the Division of Health Policy and Management from 1999 to 2005. She is the author of Managing the Medical Arms Race: Business and Public Policy in the Medical Device Industry.

"Using rich empirical detail, Susan Bartlett Foote's integrated approach simultaneously reconstructs life in an asylum and a mental health reform campaign. Engla Schey's journal--a historian's dream resource--allows patients to speak, processes the attendants' experiences, and captures the culture of state institutions. Foote has managed to keep patients, medical workers, reformers, state policies, and the impact of changes visible throughout this story."--Jennifer Gunn, University of Minnesota

"In a wondrous feat of research and storytelling, Susan Bartlett Foote has distilled personal accounts, public and institutional records, and newspaper coverage to dramatically detail Minnesota's mental health reform of the last century. Her narrative is harrowing and inspiring--a tribute to the difficult work of countless people, many of them outraged ordinary folk, who challenged the horrors of a stubborn and intractable system."--Jack El-Hai, author of The Nazi and the Psychiatrist and The Lobotomist

"The Crusade for Forgotten Souls recounts the story of courageous Minnesotans who fought the first battle in the ongoing fight for the rights of the mentally ill. Others have taken up the cause, like my father, Paul Wellstone, who made mental health reform the centerpiece of his years in the United States Senate. Susan Bartlett Foote's compelling story provides an inspiration to current reformers to continue the crusade for what my father called 'a besieged minority.'"--Dave Wellstone

"Susan Bartlett Foote's exhaustively researched book gives compelling evidence that even by the standards of the time, Minnesota's system of segregated mental institutions was backward, barbaric and particularly resistant to social change."--Star Tribune

"The historian's dream scenario--serendipitously stumbling upon a cache of previously unexamined documents in one's own home--prompted Susan Bartlett Foote's inquiry into a group of post-war reformers who envisioned nothing less than a complete overhaul of Minnesota's mental health system." --Social History of Medicine Journal, Oxford Press