New book: ‘The Lobotomy Letters. The Making of American Psychosurgery’ (Mical Raz)

  1. I look forward to this book, which is much needed. I have already written about the subject, but it is not my major research interest: see http://clarespark.com/2010/11/29/index-to-lobotomy-blogs/. “Index to lobotomy blogs.” My collages of illustrations from Freeman’s Psychosurgery” are entertaining.

  2. The author is a fine scholar and we all look forward to this read.

    Ben Harris
    UNH

  3. The author is a well respected scholar and I look forward to this book!
    Ben Harris
    UNH

  4. Hi Chris,You’re right, Walter Freeman had a special retialonship with state hospitals in West Virginia. He called this study, in which he lobotomized 228 mental patients, the West Virginia Lobotomy Project. If Freeman did indeed perform your grandfather’s lobotomy — and he may not have, since he enlisted other doctors to participate — there is a good chance that there is a photograph of your grandfather within Freeman’s patient records. Freeman’s patient records are archived at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In fact, people like me can’t see these restricted files. Only people like you, who are direct descendants of Freeman’s patients, are allowed access to Freeman’s patient records.If your grandfather was not one of Freeman’s patients, you might check to see if the hospital where you grandfather was a patient maintains an archive. Failing that, you might see if the local historical society or university archive can help you. is a description of the Freeman/Watts Collection. is a page with information on getting in touch with the archivists at George Washington University. I’ve spoken with the archivists there and can assure you that they’re very sensitive and helpful.I hope that you can find photographs of your grandfather, and that they bring you and your family peace.Sincerely,Miriam

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