Jonathan Sadowsky's writing investigates madness and its compelling relationship with culture and society. A renowned historian of medicine, he is the author of Imperial Bedlam: Institutions of Madness and Colonialism in Southwest Nigeria, as well as Electroconvulsive Therapy in America: The Anatomy of a Political Controversy. He is the Theodore J. Castele Professor of the History of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University, where he is also Associate Director of the program in Medicine, Society, and Culture in the Department of Bioethics. In addition to holding degrees in African and European history, he has studied psychiatric epidemiology.
Drawing from literature, medicine, psychology, anthropology, and memoir, Jonathan Sadowsky shows how much the history of depression informs our present understanding of it. This is an immensely readable book which challenges dogmatic opinions about a complex condition which may be 'hard to manualize' but, sadly, is also too often politicized. Linda Gask, writer and psychiatrist Sadowsky deftly guides the reader across history and continents in search of depression's past, present, and future. Engagingly written, measured in tone, and nuanced in its conclusions, The Empire of Depression never loses sight of the human suffering at the heart of its subject. Greg Eghigian, editor of The Routledge History of Madness and Mental Health a wise and discerning work. Shepherd Express