The Great Pretender

The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness

Susannah Cahalan

After she was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder—when she actually had a rare autoimmune disease—Susannah Cahalan’s interest in how little we still know about mental illness was sparked. She wrote about that experience in a 2013 bestseller, Brain on Fire, and six years later returns to the world of psychiatry with The Great Pretender, which investigates a 1970s experiment by a Stanford academic that changed the course of modern mental health care. But Cahalan finds that little in the study is as it seems, and takes her readers on an engrossing journey to explore how a societal fear of madness has led to a hugely inadequate system of care.

Buy now: The Great Pretender

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