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The Loony-Bin Trip Paperback – 1 Aug 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press; 1st Illinois Pbk. Ed edition (1 Aug. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0252068882
  • ISBN-13: 978-0252068881
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,586,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Not since Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest has the literature of madness emitted such a powerful anti-institutional cry." -- Washington Post ADVANCE PRAISE "The forced incarceration, the mental anguish, and the sheer humiliation of 'going mad' are made real in Millett's detailed and passionate narrative of her own experiences. This is a brave book. Once again, the pioneer of women's liberation in our century makes us consider the nature of freedom--what it is and who has a right to it." -- Andrea Dworkin, author of Letters from a War Zone "[Millett] takes you inside her mind in a way that no psychiatrist has ever done, and what you see there is not a mad woman, but another person, just like you, only a little bit more talented, and very, very sane (but damned mad). It is a magic book." -- Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Assault on Truth "Kate Millett is magnificent: a historical figure in her own lifetime, a truly exciting writer, a chronicler of our times... [Her] critique of institutional psychiatry and our well-meaning collusion with it is devastating and true... Millett's spirit is indomitable, her bravery thrilling, her return long awaited." -- Phyllis Chesler, author of Women and Madness

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At the farm in Poughkeepsie just before dinner the first evening light is soft and almost violet. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book will have you feeling what Kate M felt. It will have you 'in' her life so to speak with all her lostness, way out of control desires,bleak never ending despair and enormous fragility which is so apparant through out the book. You will feel her out of control life as her family and lesbian lover takes REPEATED measures to section her in Psychiartric hospitals and the betrayal in one instance of NOT being able to fufill a proffessional academic commitment due toabove actions being taken against her. You will be with her in her empty flat in NY as she struggles to make a living but discovers that work is mighty therapeutic for her. A book that is difficult to read if for some reason you are in this position yourselves but a must for all seeking to know what forced incarceration and medication (which makes her thirsty) and deprivation of Civil Rights and priviliges does to a human being; and help them understand the plight of misdiagnosed persons everywhere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jean Cozens on 6 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic. A feminist icon brings her formidable intellect and humanity to the subject of forced psychiatric interventions and systemic abuse. The fact that Kate Millett is a professor, a renowned author and one of the great figures of feminism offered little protection from the messianic forces of psychiatry to whom domination of and cruelty to theri "patients" is an everyday occupation. Kate explains through her own story how conventional psychiatry saw all her acheivements and activities as evidence of a mysterious disease process they have labelled manic depression (now bipolar disorder) and were convinced that she had to be "treated" against her will "for her own good". Kate shows how psychiatric propaganda corrupted her relationships and set her siblings and parents against her in a battle for control of this so-called disease process. Throughout Kate remains herself: rational, erudite, compassionate, and fully human. All psychiatrists should read this book. It should be part of their training. It would lead to a general consciousness-raising within the profession which is long overdue. Who knows, some might turn away from their "profession" altogether and go and do something useful, if less lucrative, with their lives.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sara Morrison on 23 Feb. 2001
Format: Paperback
Having been diagnosed as Manic Depressive nearly 2 years ago, I was very keen to read as much literature as I could about the subject. I finished Kay Redfield Jamison's 'An Unquiet Mind' and it convinced me of the need to stay on medication. I'm so glad I read it first! This book, interesting though it is about Kate Millet's life, loves etc is basically self-indulgent and doesn't seem to discuss descent into madness at all. Except it is very clear that everyone else sees it but Kate - she talks about other people acting strange towards her while completely oblivious to her own behaviour. While this horrible fact is recognised, it is not explored or understood. The book was compelling reading, but I found huge gaps during the trip to Ireland. While Kate seems sometimes to realise she was psychotic, she then blames it on the medication and dismisses it. The fact that she declines medication now and is feels 'fine' is kind of commendable but very risky. Being someone who doesn't want to feel she needs medication either, I'm afraid to admit I continue to take Lithium for the sake of my family and friends - I recognise how sick someone with manic depression can get (and although I had a great time while hospitalised, I see now how sick I really was and how much it affected everyone I knew). I never want to go through it again. Not for me or any of my loved ones. Take this book with a pinch of salt. Although I respect Kate Millet a lot, I have thought a lot about my views on psychiatric medication - call me a sucker if you wish, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating but wordy and pretentious 19 Mar. 2002
By Marino J. Martinez - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this book primarily for some insights into the excesses of psychiatry, and found much of that. I was quite surprised how strongly I identified with some of her feelings. Though I have have never had problems of the sort Kate had (has?), I am one of the many who have experienced clinical depression and been treated for it. As I read her book, I noticed how even this minor problem carries a lifetime of suspicion from others. As I go through life, physicians and relatives are quite ready and willing to jump on ordinary feelings as "evidence" that it is happening again, and maybe there is more to it. How oddly must one behave to start the spiral down to the point of something like Kate's experience happening?
Though I felt that Kate really should have known better than to do some of what she did, knowing that others were likely to use them excuses to have her committed, I still felt deeply her fear and helplessness. I was especially disgusted by the attitude of the shrink who failed to get her hauled away in the Bowry only through Kate's quick thinking.
The minuses of this book for me were the many times the she goes into descriptions of artists and other creative types in such exalted terms. Kate left little doubt that, to her, anyone who does other things with their lives are empty shells who rely on the chosen ones (such as herself) to be able to see the world as it truly is. This sort of elitism (how many times does she tell us she is a professor and published writer) and condescension is sickening in someone who spends so much of her life trying to right great wrongs of society.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Loony Bin Trip 20 April 2001
By Tanja M. Laden - Published on
Format: Paperback
Written between 1982 and 1985, The Loony-Bin Trip is overwhelmingly an effort to revert common notions of depression so that, like "grief," it may be allowed to enter the popular vocabulary. Millet achieves her foremost intent through her undeniably exquisite prose supplanted by already-changing attitudes toward depression among the public. However, The Loony Bin Trip is much more than a diatribe against prevailing stigmas of depression - it is a tender account of a talented, intelligent women's relentless desire to be accepted and understood by her contemporaries. Traumatic accounts and vivid self-reflection can occasionally prompt the most neutral reader into turmoil, thus rendering The Loony Bin Trip a cross-reference somewhere between memoir and horror. Her gut wrenching appeals for sympathy may provoke anger in some readers, reinforcing her real-life role as that of a "crazy" woman, but ultimately, her wealth of writings prove her to be a functional, if not creatively contributing, member of society. Reading Kate Millet's The Loony Bin Trip is a trip in itself. (Review written for Women's Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal," a publication of the Claremont Colleges.
10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
The Looney Bin is a fast & fascinating book. 28 Nov. 1998
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Looney Bin By Kate Millett shares with us her experiences, ranging from dispair, to terror, and finally inner peace, after being diagnosed Manic Depressive. The book is a strong indictment against the treatment of the mentally ill here and abroad.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous and Absorbing Book 13 Nov. 2013
By Vincent - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kate Millet is an underrated genius of the 20th century. She's a brilliant writer and has remarkable insight into her condition.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A brilliant book 23 Jan. 2013
By Pamela Jane - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an amazing book; brilliant, rich and riveting. I read "Sexual Politics" in 1970, but as an author and someone who is writing a memoir herself, I was delighted and dazzled by "The Looney Bin Trip."
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