Cover image for Andy Warhol was a hoarder : inside the minds of history's great personalities
Title:
Andy Warhol was a hoarder : inside the minds of history's great personalities
Author:
Kalb, Claudia, author.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic, [2016]
Physical Description:
320 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Was Andy Warhol a hoarder? Did Einstein have autism? In this surprising and inventive look at the evolution of mental health, respected journalist Claudia Kalb gives readers a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe's borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin's anxiety, Kalb provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists. Packed with fascinating revelations, this smart narrative brings a new perspective to one of the hottest new topics in today's cultural conversation"--
Language:
English
Contents:
Marilyn Monroe -- Howard Hughes -- Andy Warhol -- Princess Diana -- Abraham Lincoln -- Christine Jorgensen -- Frank Lloyd Wright -- Betty Ford -- Charles Darwin -- George Gershwin -- Fyodor Dostoevsky -- Albert Einstein.
Genre:
ISBN:
9781426214660
Format :
Book

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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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BJ1470.5 .K35 2016 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Was Andy Warhol a hoarder? Did Einstein have autism? Was Frank Lloyd Wright a narcissist? In this surprising, inventive, and meticulously researched look at the evolution of mental health, acclaimed health and science journalist Claudia Kalb gives readers a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe's borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin's anxiety, Kalb provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists. Packed with intriguing revelations, this smart narrative brings a new perspective to one of the hottest new topics in today's cultural conversation.


Author Notes

CLAUDIA KALB, an award-winning journalist who reports on a wide variety of health and science topics, is known for combining serious reporting with engaging, accessible writing. A former senior writer at Newsweek who has contributed to Smithsonian and Scientific American , Kalb has penned hundreds of features on topics ranging from depression and PTSD to painkiller addiction and the surge in drugs used to treat ADHD. She is now a freelance writer and editor.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Science- and health-journalist Kalb selects a dozen notable historical figures, applies diagnostic tools pulled from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) to their unique personality traits, and produces a diverting reader's digest of biographies that focus not so much on their lives but on their quirks. Although she acknowledges that mental illness and genius might seem mutually exclusive, she also makes a strong case supporting the fact that occasionally mental illness can actually enhance brilliance. For example, she advances a theory that Abraham Lincoln's chronic melancholy (what the DSM calls clinical depression) actually made him a stronger, more determined and pragmatic leader. It certainly would speak to Lincoln's personal grit to pull himself from the morass of despair in order to lead the country in a time of immeasurable turmoil. As for Princess Diana and her struggle with bulimia, it was torment for her, but her candor about it helped millions of eating-disorder sufferers. In all, Kalb's well-written exercise in applying modern psychiatric theory to historical figures, from Marilyn Monroe to Albert Einstein to Charles Darwin, certainly makes for some very entertaining armchair speculation.--Chavez, Donna Copyright 2016 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Kalb examines a diverse collection of 12 notables, including Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein, who suffered, or may have suffered, from mental health conditions. According to Kalb, Monroe purportedly had borderline personality disorder, Andy Warhol was an inveterate hoarder, and famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright exhibited narcissistic personality disorder. While Kalb can definitively describe the mental health conditions of some of the more contemporary figures-Betty Ford (alcoholism), Princess Diana (bulimia nervosa)-she needs to resort to speculation on historical figures, and the language suffers from the necessary caveats: Abraham Lincoln "likely suffered from clinical depression"; "it could be argued" Charles Darwin had anxiety; "Was Einstein on the autism spectrum?" Kalb's training as a journalist, not a psychiatrist, occasionally shows in less than clinical descriptions: "People with depression... are wired for despondency." Still, Kalb fruitfully employs diverse sources, including psychology studies and published biographies, to tell the undeniably fascinating stories of her subjects. This is an informative compilation and it's certain to provide readers with fascinating stories to share about an array of famous names. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Journalist Kalb (formerly of Newsweek) draws attention to 12 common mental health conditions by describing how each manifested itself in the personality of a historical figure. We learn that Marilyn Monroe probably suffered from borderline personality disorder; George Gershwin may have been afflicted by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and Frank Lloyd Wright demonstrated signs of narcissism. Individual chapters focus on a specific person and his or her situation, with Kalb first discussing the upbringing that formed their character, then introducing a mental illness, lucidly describing its etiology and manifestations. Drawing heavily on firsthand accounts, the author addresses individual cases, such as Betty Ford's alcoholism. She makes a cogent argument based on what is known of the individual and the condition being described. All in all, readers are left wondering what role the ailments played in the success of these individuals. VERDICT Expect wide appeal. This work will entertain those who enjoy reading about the quirks of the famous as well as inform those who may want to understand the disabilities discussed.-Lydia Olszak, Bosler Memorial Lib., Carlisle, PA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 9
Marilyn Monroep. 19
Howard Hughesp. 37
Andy Warholp. 59
Princess Dianap. 77
Abraham Lincolnp. 101
Christine Jorgensenp. 121
Frank Lloyd Wrightp. 145
Betty Fordp. 173
Charles Darwinp. 197
George Gershwinp. 221
Fyodor Dostoevskyp. 239
Albert Einsteinp. 261
Afterwordp. 289
Sources and Notesp. 293
Acknowledgmentsp. 315