Grob, Gerald N. 1931-
GROB, Gerald N. 1931-
Born April 25, 1931, in New York, NY; son of Sidney and Sylvia (Cohen) Grob; married Lila E. Kronick, 1954; children: Bradford Spencer, Evan David, Seth Adam. Education: City College of New York (now City College of the City University of New York), B.S., 1951; Columbia University, A.M., 1952; Northwestern University, Ph.D., 1958. Religion: Jewish.
Home—821 Starview Way, Bridgewater, NJ 08807-1824. Office—Institute of Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University, 30 College Ave., New Brunswick, NJ 08903-1293. E-mail—[email protected]
New York Public Library, New York, NY, library technical assistant, 1945-52; Clark University, Worcester, MA, instructor, 1957-59, assistant professor, 1959-61, associate professor, 1961-66, professor of American history and chair of department, 1966-69; Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, professor of history, beginning 1969, Henry E. Sigerist Professor of the History of Medicine, beginning 1990, became professor emeritus. Military service: U.S. Army, 1955-57.
American Antiquarian Society, Organization of American Historians, American Association for the History of Medicine (president, 1996-98), Phi Alpha Theta.
National Institute for Mental Health and National Library of Medicine research grants, 1960-65, 1967-81, and 1984-92; National Endowment for the Humanities senior fellow, 1972-73; American Council of Learned Societies fellow, 1976-77; Guggenheim fellow, 1981; William H. Welch Medal, American Association for the History of Medicine, 1986. Honorary doctor of letters, Clark University.
Workers in Utopia: A Study of Ideological Conflict in the American Labor Movement: 1856-1900, Northwestern University Press (Chicago, IL), 1961.
(Editor, with Robert N. Beck) American Ideas: Source Readings in the Intellectual History of the United States, two volumes, Free Press (New York, NY), 1963.
(With G. A. Billias) Interpretations of American History, two volumes, Free Press (New York, NY), 1967, 6th edition, 1992.
(Editor) Statesmen and Statescraft of the Modern West: Essays in Honor of Dwight E. Lee and H. Donaldson Jordon, Barre-Westover (Barre, MA), 1967.
(Compiler) American Social History before 1860, Appleton (New York, NY), 1970.
Insanity and Idiocy in Massachusetts: Report of the Commission on Lunacy, 1855, by Edward Jarvis, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1971.
Mental Institutions in America: Social Policy to 1875, Free Press (New York, NY), 1973.
Edward Jarvis and the Medical World of Nineteenth-Century America, University of Tennessee Press (Knoxville, TN), 1978.
Mental Illness and American Society, 1875-1940, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1983.
The Inner World of American Psychiatry, 1890-1940, Rutgers University Press (New Brunswick, NJ), 1985.
From Asylum to Community: Mental Health Policy in Modern America, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1991.
The Mad among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill, Free Press (New York, NY), 1994.
The Deadly Truth: A History of Disease in America, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 2002.
A professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University, Gerald N. Grob specializes in studies of how society treats some of its most vulnerable citizens: the mentally ill. His 1994 book, The Mad among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill, outlines what the author called a "cyclical pattern" of healthcare that "has alternated between enthusiastic optimism and fatalistic pessimism." The author's study begins with colonial times, when alms houses and insane asylums were the only options for dealing with the mentally ill. The study follows societal trends and treatments to the present day. In a Washington Monthly review, E. Fuller Torrey felt that Grob offered valid scholarship when describing the history of mental illness up to World War II. "He has mined the voluminous primary sources for anecdotes and arguments, and skillfully ties the various phases and fashions of psychiatric care to the social and political milieu of the times," Fuller wrote. The critic, however, added that Grob's analysis of the latter half of the twentieth century "falls rather badly. [The author] describes various events and developments but is unable or unwilling to put them into a social and political context." Booklist contributor William Beatty had fewer such reservations, however, calling The Mad among Us "smoothly written," and "another example of Grob's gift for scholarly yet readable work."
In The Deadly Truth: A History of Disease in America Grob reaches back to pre-Columbian America to trace the path of how different cultures contributed to the practice of medicine. The author "demonstrates that disease is a natural part of our existence," commented Tina Neville in Library Journal, yet the book also describes how "many diseases were on a decline even before the widespread use of antibiotics." Beatty, in another Booklist review, acknowledged that the volume's reliance on statistics leans it away from a general-readership audience, but added that Grob's "careful comparisons" between the health systems of rural and urban areas "constitute an especially successful aspect of the book."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Grob, Gerald N., The Mad among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill, Free Press (New York, NY), 1994.
American Journal of Psychiatry, December, 1994, Zigmond Lebensohn, review of The Mad among Us: A History of the Care of America's Mentally Ill, p. 1832.
Booklist, February 1, 1994, William Beatty, review of The Mad among Us, p. 983; August, 2002, William Beatty, review of The Deadly Truth: A History of Disease in America, p. 1904.
Choice, September, 1994, W. B. Dragoin, review of The Mad among Us, p. 152.
Contemporary Psychology, May, 1995, review of The Mad among Us, p. 475.
Contemporary Sociology, September, 1995, review of The Mad among Us, p. 700.
Journal of Social History, fall, 1996, Constance McGovern, review of The Mad among Us, p. 272.
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 1994, review of The Mad among Us, p. 36; June 15, 2002, review of The Deadly Truth, p. 854.
Library Journal, February 15, 1994, January Adams, review of The Mad among Us, p. 175; August, 2002, Tina Neville, review of The Deadly Truth, p. 128.
Publishers Weekly, January 17, 1994, review of The Mad among Us, p. 386.
Social Science Quarterly, March, 1996, John Burnham, review of The Mad among Us, p. 235.
Social Service Review, December, 1995, Eric Plant, review of The Mad among Us, p. 735.
Times Literary Supplement, March 31, 1995, David Musto, review of The Mad among Us, p. 6.
Washington Monthly, March, 1994, E. Fuller Torrey, review of The Mad among Us, p. 59.
Washington Post Book World, April 24, 1994, review of The Mad among Us, p. 8.
Seminary Co-Op Bookstore Web site,http://www.semcoop.com/ (March 7, 2003), review of The Deadly Truth.