Describing in detail the conditions she witnessed in jails, prisons, and asylums, a biography of Dorothy Dix documents her crusade to help the impoverished mentally ill by lobbying legislatures and soliciting funds that ultimately created thirty state asylums.
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With single-minded determination, Dix (1802-1887), a New England school teacher, succeeded in drawing national attention to the appalling treatment of the mentally ill. In this exhaustive study, Gollaher, president of the California Health Care Institute, describes Dix's investigations of jails and almshouses where the mentally ill were cruelly imprisoned in filthy conditions. Her detailed reports of these visits, some dramatically embellished, resulted in the founding of state asylums. She also campaigned unsuccessfully to have federal land set aside for national facilities. With the onset of the Civil War, Dix was appointed Superintendent of Women Nurses for the Union. Although she did not want the country to break apart, Dix's compassion for the mentally ill, according to this portrait, apparently did not extend to everyone: she didn't believe slavery was wrong, and she held a deep prejudice against Roman Catholics. According to Gollaher, Dix identified with the helplessness of the mentally ill because of an abusive childhood, and her commitment resulted in important reforms. Photos.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gollaher provides the thorough and detailed, balanced and readable scholarly biography that serious study of Dorothea Dix (1802^-87) has long needed. Dix had an unpleasant early life but was strong enough to be able to use her early experiences productively throughout two careers and, above all, to build a remarkable character. Fortunately, her wealthy grandmother took 13-year-old Dorothea under her wing and later, thanks to her will, provided Dorothea with an ample income. Subsequently, Dix's life could be, and was, "virtuously sacrificed for the benefit of others." Her exploratory surveys of the indigent insane, undertaken when she was in her 30s, gradually expanded geographically and philosophically into her first career, during which she was instrumental in the passage of many state laws, in the building of asylums, and in increasing understanding among politicians and voters. Her second career saw her take charge of female nurses for the Union during the Civil War. Gollaher clearly depicts Dix's strengths and weaknesses and manages beautifully to describe her feelings, relationships, and developing skills. William Beatty
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Book Description Free Pr, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110029123992
Book Description Free Pr, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0029123992
Book Description Free Pr, 1995. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0029123992