No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America
No One Cares About Crazy People is a hybrid, a nontraditional history of mental health care fused to an incredibly personal story about Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ron Powers's two sons' struggles with schizophrenia. Powers doesn't attempt an encyclopedic history of mental illness and care in the United States, instead focusing on specific factors--trends, innovations, individuals, etc.--that played a role in creating a status quo wherein "too many of the mentally ill in our country live under conditions of atrocity." Powers's story is one of repeated moral failings, from the doctors performing transorbital lobotomies to the greed-fueled depredations of Big Pharma.
For the families of the mentally ill, of course, caring about "crazy people" is a necessity. In roughly alternating chapters, Powers allows us to watch his sons grow up, dealing with the challenges of incipient schizophrenia as well as tragic events that shape their young minds. The boys' interactions with the mental health care system give Powers a first-hand look into its failings, and in turn he shows the reader the devastating human consequences of society's indifference toward the mentally ill. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books