|The Foetid Halls
From my webpage at http://cappsfamily.hypermart.net/The%20Foetid%20Halls.htm
From the 1930's to the 1960's, early attempts to combine the psychiatric goals of restoring mental health with new advances in medical science would produce tragic results for many of those who trusted modern psychiatry to provide comfort and healing. During this time, science, psychiatry, ambition, power, and politics came together to leave behind a controversial history of events that destroyed the trust and hope placed by many upon modern science and left behind a trail of scarred minds and ruined lives.
When Allen Ginsberg, the famous Beat poet, attacked the American mental health care system of the 1950's in his poem, "Howl", he knew the subject well. These experiences, which he described as "memories and anecdotes and eyeballs kicks and shock of hospitals", were vivid, yet accurate descriptions of psychiatric practices of the time (Ginsberg 50). Both Ginsb...