Current Issue

Sept.24, 2008

Vol. 109, No. 1

book shorts

The Insanity Offense:

How America’s Failure to Treat the Seriously Mentally Ill Endangers Its Citizens

By E. Fuller Torrey '59
Published in the September24, 2008, issue

(W.W. Norton)

The author examines the causes and consequences of the lack of adequate treatment for severely mentally ill patients. He looks at laws that make it difficult to commit the severely ill — many of whom end up homeless, incarcerated, violent, or victims of violent crimes — and offers ideas for better treating patients. Fuller, a research psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and manic-depressive illness, is the founder of the Treatment Advocacy Center in Arlington, Va.

The Leaders We Deserved and a Few We Didn’t:

Rethinking the Presidential Rating Game

By Alvin Felzenberg *78
Published in the September24, 2008, issue

(Basic Books)

Felzenberg evaluates U.S. presidents according to six criteria: vision, character, competence, foreign policy, economic policy, and human rights. He argues that previous rankings have failed to specify what makes a successful president or have provided insufficient balance between successes and failures in particular administrations. Felzenberg teaches at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University.

Everything Is Cinema:

The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard

By Richard Brody '80
Published in the September24, 2008, issue

(Metropolitan Books)

In this biography of one of the leading filmmakers of the French New Wave, the author examines how Godard changed the nature of moviemaking by weaving autobiography and current events into his films. Brody follows Godard’s career from his debut feature, Breathless, to his later works, and explores his politics, his difficult dealings with fellow filmmakers, and his troubled relationships with women. Brody is a film critic and an editor at The New Yorker.

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