No One Cares About Crazy People

No One Cares About Crazy People

The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

* Finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award * Washington Post Notable Book of the Year * People Magazine Best Book of the Year * Shelf Awareness Best Book of the Year *

“Extraordinary and courageous . . . No doubt if everyone were to read this book, the world would change.”—New York Times Book Review

New York Times-bestselling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons’ battles with schizophrenia.

From the centuries of torture of “lunatiks” at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the anti-psychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.

Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers’s beloved son Kevin–spirited, endearing, and gifted–who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.

A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.

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Genre: Nonfiction / Psychology / Psychopathology / Schizophrenia

On Sale: March 21st 2017

Price: $28

Page Count: 384

ISBN-13: 9780316341172

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Praise

"Extraordinary
and courageous...I'm not sure I've ever read anything that handles the
decline of one's children with such openness and searing, stumbling
honesty...[Powers] writes with fierce hope and fierce purpose to persuade the
world to pay attention. No doubt if everyone were to read this
book, the world would change."—Ron Suskind, New York Times Book Review

"[A] heartbreaking tribute to [Powers's] sons...and an urgent plea for reform."—People

"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers (Mark
Twain: A Life
, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental
health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic
sons.... This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a
literary stylist, succeeds on every level."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Very emotional.... [Powers] reminds us how apathetic and cruel society can be when it comes to mental
illness."—Booklist (starred review)

"No One Cares
About Crazy People
is a woefully necessary kick in the teeth to society's
understanding and treatment of mental illness. Reading Ron Powers is always an
event--you can expect expert research and rich reporting in an engrossing
style--but what makes this book soar is the passion of Powers' conviction
based off his own intimate experiences with schizophrenia. I put this book down
days ago and I'm still reeling. It's the rare book that breaks your life into a
before and an after."—Susannah Cahalan, New York Times bestselling author of Brain on Fire

"Ron Powers writes
eloquently, passionately, and persuasively about the failure to properly treat
mental illness in America. What makes this book really powerful is Powers's
personal story-the harrowing, wrenching tale of his two sons wrestling with the
unholy demon of schizophrenia."—Evan Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of Being Nixon

"Whether Ron
Powers is writing about Mark Twain, small-town life in the Midwest, the state
of television, or crime, his books resonate. Now he has written the book he
never wanted to tackle-about the schizophrenia of his sons and the cruel
failures of the American mental health establishment."—Steve Weinberg, author of Taking on the Trust

"In telling this
gripping and deeply personal story, Ron Powers puts chronic mental illness in
the broad context of history, society, and public policy. His compelling
account helps shake us out of the embarrassment and apathy that have tethered
public discourse and lasting action to treat mental illness. Despite fitful
progress, real and lasting progress and empathy are still so easily tripped up
by ignorance, fear, and unease. Ron Powers explains why we need to move
beyond the stigma that still makes progress difficult, and sometimes
impossible. The story he tells is not a comfortable one, but it's an important
one."—U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)

"Ron Powers and
his wife never expected to visit the exotic lands of schizophrenia until their
two sons became affected. A gifted professional writer, Powers takes the reader
along on his explorations as he tries to understand why it happened and what to
do. What he finds is "the most dreaded of all human mental
disorders." Very readable and highly recommended."—E. Fuller Torrey, MD, author of Surviving Schizophrenia

"This is the book
that Ron Powers, one of America's most elegant chroniclers, vowed he would
never write. Too disturbing, too painful, too intimate. We are fortunate that
he changed his mind. Powers has tackled his most challenging subject yet with
erudition, humanity, and courage. By allowing readers into the sanctity of his
home, he makes real the toll of mental illness on those who suffer, their
families, and the community. No One Cares About Crazy People is an unforgettable, insistent call for a nationwide
conversation and action, for embracing our most vulnerable benefits us all."—Pamela Rotner Sakamoto, author of Midnight in Broad Daylight: A Japanese American Family Caught Between Two Worlds

"Educating general
readers about mental illness and its troubled history in America, Pulitzer
Prize winner Powers (Mark Twain: A Life)
shares his searingly personal, heart-wrenching account of the schizophrenia
that overtook his two talented, promising sons. In loving detail, Powers
describes the joys and unfathomable challenges inherent in parenting two such
blessed and simultaneously cursed young men."—Library Journal

"It
is a hybrid, a nontraditional history of mental health care fused to an
incredibly personal story about his two sons' struggles with schizophrenia. For
his son Kevin, that struggle ended in suicide, and the heartbreak of that
experience (among others) permeates every impersonal date and statistic in the
book with sorrow and rage."—Shelf Awareness

"One of the most engrossing accounts of
raising a family I've ever read, one in which Mr. Powers makes universal his
themes of parental love, bewilderment, and rage at the vagaries of biological
fate."—John Donvan, Wall Street Journal

"Powers gives us powerful stories of real suffering and societal apathy
toward the plight of our fellow citizens. Their struggles must not be forgotten
as we continue to debate reforming our health-care system."—The Washington Post