The Power of Narratives: A Tale of Lobotomist and Patient

St. Elizabeths Hospital, Washington, D.C., c. 1930

Sometimes I find that a tale does not belong in a book or article I am writing, but it is too good to forget. This is one such example. On March 19, 1945, Walter J. Freeman, M.D., the subject of my book The Lobotomist who popularized and developed the psychosurgical procedure known as the lobotomy, paged open the…

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Godfather of the Lobotomy: Egas Moniz

In 2010 we saw no big celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the development of psychiatric surgery — not even in Portugal, where the first brain operations to treat psychiatric disorders, eventually leading to lobotomies, were performed. But the passing of the anniversary offers a good reason to wonder: How would someone come up with the…

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