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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Ron Powers offers a searching, richly researched narrative of the social history of mental illness in America paired with the deeply personal story of his two sons' battles with schizophrenia.

From the centuries of torture of "lunatiks" at Bedlam Asylum to the infamous eugenics era to the follies of the antipsychiatry movement to the current landscape in which too many families struggle alone to manage afflicted love ones, Powers limns our fears and myths about mental illness and the fractured public policies that have resulted.

Braided with that history is the moving story of Powers' beloved son Kevin - spirited, endearing, and gifted - who triumphed even while suffering from schizophrenia until finally he did not, and the story of his courageous surviving son Dean, who is also schizophrenic.

A blend of history, biography, memoir, and current affairs ending with a consideration of where we might go from here, this is a thought-provoking look at a dreaded illness that has long been misunderstood.

©2017 Ron Powers (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Very emotional...[Powers] reminds us how apathetic and cruel society can be when it comes to mental illness." ( Booklist)
"Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Powers ( MarkTwain: A Life, 2005, etc.) presents two searing sagas: an indictment of mental health care in the United States and the story of his two schizophrenic sons.... This hybrid narrative, enhanced by the author's considerable skills as a literary stylist, succeeds on every level." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Ron Powers and his wife never expected to visit the exotic lands of schizophrenia until their two sons became affected. A gifted professional writer, Powers takes the reader along on his explorations as he tries to understand why it happened and what to do. What he finds is 'the most dreaded of all human mental disorders.' Very readable and highly recommended." (E. Fuller Torrey, MD, author of Surviving Schizophrenia)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent read

This book opens up the world of mental illness. Not just about the authors son but about others and the failing mental health system. It covers everything from A to Z. Excellent read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing.

I want to make this text required reading for my graduate students in Mental Health Counseling.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • RSR
  • New Jersey
  • 04-05-18

I needed Ron Powers voice to read this book

Where does No One Cares About Crazy People rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

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Do not pick up this book if you don’t really care about crazy people or mental illness. If you do care, this book will be hard – you will cry, you will burn with frustration, you will absorb much information. You will not be able to put this book down, because the most compelling feature of this book, for anyone who has felt the pain of mental illness, is its’ IMPORTANCE! I bought the book and soon felt I lacked the courage to continue reading. But I wanted to. So, I decided to have Ron Powers read his story to me. It was the only way I was able to keep going. He didn’t want to write this book – its’ a book no one wants to write – but you will be forever grateful for his care, his arduous research, and his courage to write AND record this book!

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Of Care and Caring

Ron Powers skillfully intertwines the historic lack of meaningful health care for people suffering from mental illness with the caring and love he and his wife extend to their sons. Though a heart wrenching journey, Powers concludes with hope. First, from advancing medical knowledge and, perhaps more importantly, a vision of community caring to benefit us all.

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interesting. very sweet tribute by a dad.

interesting. very sweet tribute by a dad. also a good understanding of history of mental illness and its treatment.

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Powerful

So grateful to Ron for sharing his son's stories and the research he provides about the history mental healthcare. Very moving and enlightening. There is so much work to be done in reforming the state of care for those suffering from mental illness.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Teach's review

Scary that our genetic secrets can show up when we are 24. A personal look at schizophrenia.

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Heart breaking, informative memoir

Ron Powers writes a powerful, descriptive memoir of his two musically and intellectually gifted sons and how their lives are affected by mental illness. I admit that I skipped over most of the interjected research and chose to focus on the story of this family. The research could have been a separate book.

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A learned history of mental health care plus personal, heart wrenching parental testimony

I learned much about the history of mental health care and the evolution of drug therapies and brain science. The author's personal history, plus that of his beautiful gifted sons, made it very compelling. Like the author, the genetic vulnerability for mental illness runs in my family and I have had it triggered in myself, so the topic is extremely relevant. God bless the Power's family. Thank you for this wonderful and important book.

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This is a very informative, heartbreaking, eye opening experience

I chose this book because I also have a daughter recently diagnose with schizoaffective disorder. I am looking for a book to help me understand accept and cope with her mental illness. Ron wrote information that are helpful for me. Some which I didn't care much like the history back in the 1800's of the treatment of mental illness. What really touch me is the personal experiences that Ron and AnaRae had with their two sons, Dean & Kevin. I will recommend this book to anyone who is going through mental illness or any of their loved ones.