The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature
by Jamie Cohen-Cole
University of Chicago Press, 2014, 368 pages.
The Closed World of the Open Mind
In Jamie Cohen-Cole’s hands, the concept of the open mind becomes an effective historiographical tool with which to trace some of the intersections of the social sciences and American political culture …
For our latest installment in the book forum series, we bring you a series of commentaries on Lisa Stevenson’s Life Beside Itself: Imagining Care in the Canadian Arctic (University of California Press, 2014). As it takes us across the conceptual grounds of governance, (post)colonialism, biopolitics, violence, and suicide, this book illuminates care as an object of study in a way …
Neuropsychedelia: The Revival of Hallucinogen Research Since the Decade of the Brain
by Nicolas Langlitz
University of California Press, 2012, 336 pages.
Humphry Osmond wrote to Aldous Huxley in 1956 proposing the term “psychedelic,” coined from two Greek words to mean “mind manifesting.” The scholars, one a psychiatrist and the other a celebrated novelist and philosopher, were exuberant about the …
Speculative Markets: Drug Circuits and Derivative Life in Nigeria
by Kristin Peterson
Duke University Press, 2014, 256 pages.
We tend to think of pharmaceuticals as chemical matter caught up in complicated legal and economic relationships, but it is probably more useful to think of them as legal artifacts oriented towards a potential (but by no means guaranteed) biochemical …
Le médicament qui devait sauver l’Afrique
by Guillaume Lachenal
La Découverte, 2014, 250 pages.
Guillaume Lachenal’s Le médicament qui devait sauver l’Afrique – the English-language title provided by the publishing house is The hidden history of the medicine meant to save Africa – is devoted to a pharmaceutical scandal in colonial Africa that remains absent from the official history. …
American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History
by Jenell Johnson
University of Michigan Press, 2014, 240 pages.
Jenell Johnson’s 2014 book American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History provides an accessible and thoroughly enjoyable look at how an infamous medical procedure – the lobotomy – developed, was administered, initially applauded, ultimately loathed, and has had an enduring and profound impact upon medicalization of …