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Madness in the City of Magnificent Intentions - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Madness in the City of Magnificent Intentions

Martin Summers


This book is a history of the federal mental institution Saint Elizabeths Hospital and its relationship to Washington, DC’s African American community. Founded in 1855 to treat insane military personnel and the District’s civilian residents, the institution became one of the nation’s preeminent research and teaching psychiatric hospitals. From the beginning of its operation, Saint Elizabeths admitted black patients, making it one of the few American asylums to do so. The book charts the history of Saint Elizabeths from its founding to the late 1980s, when the hospital’s mission and capabilitie ... More

Keywords: African Americans, community mental health, deinstitutionalization, mental illness, psychiatry, psychotherapy, Saint Elizabeths Hospital, segregation, race, Washington, DC

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190852641
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190852641.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Martin Summers, author
Associate Professor of History and African and African Diaspora studies, Boston College