Schizophrènes au XXe siècle: des effets secondaires de l’histoire
[Schizophrenics in the Twentieth Century: The Side Effects of History
] is a strong argument in support of the history of psychiatry “from below.” Using vast archival resources and ample patient files, Hervé Guillemain
demonstrates convincingly how schizophrenia in France was a socially constructed category—one that circumscribed and further stigmatized individuals who were already marginalized and left behind in a changing political, economic, and social landscape. Guillemain follows the surprising twists and turns proffered by his sources, and in so doing, reveals to us an untold and unexpected history of those youth and young adults who tried to take “a leap forward, but failed.” While focusing primarily on France, this book nevertheless surpasses its geographic boundaries and will undoubtedly be engaging for all those interested in the schizophrenia diagnosis.