He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him

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The brutal honesty of our history of treating mental illness makes this book a painful but necessary endeavor. In the generations prior to the development of drugs that rectify chemical imbalances, patients were basically tortured into submission, a fact Dr. Perry Baird expresses in his recently discovered manuscript: “I wanted to tell him my recovery was in spite of these barbaric methods, not because of them…”

The double irony of this story unveils the discovery that even while Dr. Baird suffered from manic depression, he narrowed the search for a cure to chemical imbalance—the very first doctor to make such an important connection. But the Nobel Prize–winning treatment of the day called for the institution to scramble this beautiful mind in a standardized lobotomy. His daughters knew nothing of the whereabouts or condition of their father. Polite society finds it easier to simply pretend such problems don’t exist, a fact the author learns all too well with the discovery that her own father was not the first in the family to disappear into the “coo-coo’s nest.”


Reviewed By:

Author Mimi Baird and Eve Claxton
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Crown
Publish Date 2015-Feb-17
ISBN 9780804137478
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue March 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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