Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Tell the Publisher!
Id like to read this book on Kindle

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Wisdom, Madness and Folly: Making of a Psychiatrist (Canongate Classics) [Paperback]

R. D. Laing , Craig Beveridge
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover --  
Paperback --  

Book Description

30 Oct 1998 Canongate Classics (Book 89)
Set in a European context, but written in the style of a Scottish radicalist, the author recounts his own upbringing as well as his personal and professional insights, questioning the role of the psychiatrist in today's society.

Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 Oct 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0862418313
  • ISBN-13: 978-0862418311
  • Product Dimensions: 19.7 x 12.9 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,318,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Sell a Digital Version of This Book in the Kindle Store

If you are a publisher or author and hold the digital rights to a book, you can sell a digital version of it in our Kindle Store. Learn more

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

3 star
2 star
1 star
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important but flawed read 2 Aug 2004
By A Customer
An interesting, if disjointed autobiographical account of an important figure in British psychiatry.
A short book which can be read in a few hours, with twenty page chapter accounts of the author's division of his life; 'home', 'college' etc. Jumps, jarringly at times, between the authors search for a meaningful explanation of his upbringing's effects on his life, career and outlook, and how this transposes onto, and contrasts with psychiatry in general.
Most interesting when he talks of his views on the field, when he can be provocative and thoughtful. However, the book needs to be contextualised, and feels dated; the field has evolved, not always in directions you feel Laing would have approved of. It is the actual progress of psychiatry over the past twenty years that most undermines his arguments, but the concept of critical self-appraisal is perhaps the most important idea to take from it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book 30 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Would recommend for A Level psychology students, as Laing is covered when studying schizophrenia and his methods in particular are interesting.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Laing's writing style is easy & colloquial. 20 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I read this about 10 years ago & have recently read it again. Laing's writing is easy & colloquial, more like conversation than some exercise with a thesaurus. Laing reviews the state of psychiatry today (1985) & reviews the events in his life that helped shape his iconoclastic views of medicine & society. He eschews the term "anti-psychiatry," seemingly preferring not to name or "institutionalize" his process & praxis for psychiatry. By the end of this book, Laing & his views seem incredibly human & humane, & one wonders, Why aren't all psychiatrists like Laing? Early on, Laing cites the changing psychiatric view in Italy; the new edition of WM&F coincides with the 20th anniversary of Italy's law 180, which pretty much altered the way psychiatric services are dispensed & which was promoted by both doctors & patients, proving that the camaraderie among patient & staff that Laing longed for was possible.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A readable account of a complex man. 9 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I first read this more than 10 years ago & found it a pleasant diversion from his more polemical writing. Laing is witty & honest: he cites but doesn't dwell on the cliches & sloganry that have fairly engulfed descriptions of his profession. Laing is incisive & wastes little time with exposition: he's on to another topic before you realize he's just alluded to rabid anti-Semitism in Great Britain during WWII! His descriptions of patients are heart-rending, especially the elderly women with whom he worked after his stint in the Army. Laing was & still is maligned by the psychiatric professional community in the U.S., but in Italy this year, it's the 20th anniversary of the "Basaglia Act," which was promoted by doctors & virtually altered the way "mental disorder" is viewed & treated. Laing made no small contribution here, & his easy style & good humor are evident in WM&F & just two reasons why he remains influential.
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category