Of Two Minds: An Anthropologist Looks at American Psychiatry (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

What a treat to find an author whose research just so happens to overlap with my own nerdy areas of niche interest! Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist, and here she takes on the disciplines of psychology and psychoanalysis themselves. It will be of interest to anyone who's ever been in therapy. And if you like this, don't miss her book on evangelicalism, When God Talks Back!


— From Caitlin L. Staff Picks


With sharp and soulful insight, T. M. Luhrmann examines the world of psychiatry, a profession which today is facing some of its greatest challenges from within and without, as it continues to offer hope to many.

At a time when mood-altering drugs have revolutionized the treatment of the mentally ill and HMO’s are forcing caregivers to take the pharmacological route over the talking cure, Luhrmann places us at the heart of the matter and allows us to see exactly what is at stake. Based on extensive interviews with patients and doctors, as well as investigative fieldwork in residence programs, private psychiatric hospitals, and state hospitals, Luhrmann’s groundbreaking book shows us how psychiatrists develop and how the enormous ambiguities in the field affect its practitioners and patients.

About the Author

Tanya Luhrmann is a psychological anthropologist and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. She received her education from Harvard and Cambridge universities, and was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. In 2007, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Praise For…

“Clear-eyed intellectual analysis...shrewd, witty, refreshing.”–The New York Times

“[A]stute and fascinating.... [V]ividly portrays the fierce and often unnecessary wars between those representing the interests of the mind and the brain.”–Kay Redfield Jamison

“A more nuanced treatment of the moral and philosophical issues than any previous discussion”–The New Yorker
Product Details
ISBN: 9780679744931
ISBN-10: 0679744932
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: August 14th, 2001
Pages: 352
Language: English
Series: Vintage