Review of Burstow (Ed.), Psychiatry Interrogated: An Institutional Ethnography Anthology (2016).

Matthew S. Johnston


This volume interrogates the psychiatric apparatus with an evidentiary scorn and authority that demands accountability and an apologetic response. This scathing indictment of psy-professionals who mobilized psychiatric knowledge and practices to degrade, torture, and gravely harm others will serve to (1) educate skeptics; (2) bolster activism and solidarity in the Mad Movement; (3) vindicate survivors of psychiatric violence and coercion who often experience their suffering and struggle in a void of isolation; (4) provide hope to the many disgruntled professionals working in the mental health field who question their assumed role in helping people; and (5) draw ferocious critique from countless agents who wholeheartedly defend the idea that psychiatry can/will/does help/treat/cure sickly people, whether with complete, partial, or entirely without our consent.

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