Monday, February 11, 2013

Book Spotlight: The Abraham Man by R. Gregory Lande


The mere mention of the insanity defense guarantees a lively debate. Opponents of the defense cite the loss of criminal culpability while proponents argue just as passionately that the insanity defense is the ultimate act of compassion. The protagonists would probably be quite surprised to learn that the same basic concerns consumed Americans in the nineteenth century. One factor – The Abraham Man – sowed the seeds of confusion and controversy that united the past with the present.

Some of the most celebrated civil and criminal trials in American history were argued under the shadow of the Abraham Man. Readers will delight in the detailed stories of long forgotten legal cases which bring the antics of the Abraham Man to life. Through the process, readers will follow the careers of notable Civil War surgeons whose post-war professional development shaped the future of modern mental health care. In addition, the reader will learn about the promise of the asylum movement, prominent practitioners of the era, the politics, and eventual decline of institutional mental health care.


Excerpt:


Some of the most celebrated civil and criminal trials in American history were argued under the shadow of the Abraham Man. Readers will delight in the detailed stories of long forgotten legal cases which bring the antics of the Abraham Man to life. Through the process, readers will follow the careers of notable Civil War surgeons whose post-war professional development shaped the future of modern mental health care. In addition, the reader will learn about the promise of the asylum movement, prominent practitioners of the era, the politics, and eventual decline of institutional mental health care.

Both readers and libraries will find The Abraham Man a refreshing, authoritative text replete with primary source documentation. The engaging narrative deftly weaves the history of science in the 19th century with evolving trends in legal practice. Throughout this period, the budding relationship between doctors and lawyers fashioned the foundation of modern medical legal practice. At every step along the path the Abraham Man sowed confusion and controversy, paradoxically contributing to more rigorous medical practice.

The book will clearly tap into the public’s modern fascination with forensic medicine. Professional readers, such as lawyers, doctors, and psychologists, will find The Abraham Man a valuable historical reference which still rings true after 150 years. Civil War aficionados will discover a fresh perspective and “the rest of the story” about some famous soldiers. Medical history buffs will be enlightened by the devices and stratagems doctors employed to uncover malingering, in many cases the forerunners of modern diagnostic technologies.

Purchase online at: http://www.amazon.com/R.-Gregory-Lande/e/B001H9TEZ0


R. Gregory Lande, DO is a physician and retired US Army Medical Corps Officer. Dr. Lande completed his medical education at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Lande was commissioned an officer in the US Army. During his career in the military, Dr. Lande was active in a wide variety of clinical, academic and administrative positions. Upon leaving the US Army as a full colonel, Dr. Lande was awarded the Legion of Merit recognizing his career contributions. The next phase of his career involved administrative positions in hospital management, research, and teaching at various civilian facilities. Dr. Lande is the author of numerous medical and historical works. He lectures widely on both subjects.

Visit Dr. Lande online at http://www.medicallegalhistory.com/