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He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical…
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He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and… (edition 2016)

by Mimi Baird (Author), Eve Claxton (Author)

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18667125,884 (3.98)44
Soon to be a major motion picture, from Brad Pitt and Tony Kushner A Washington Post Best Book of 2015 A mid-century doctor's raw, unvarnished account of his own descent into madness, and his daughter's attempt to piece his life back together and make sense of her own.   Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Perry Baird was a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s. Early in his career, ahead of his time, he grew fascinated with identifying the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself. By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his wife and daughters estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized.             Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing this story, as her family went silent about the father who had been absent for most of her childhood. Decades later, a string of extraordinary coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript which Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape. This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage.       Fifty years after being told her father would forever be "ill" and "away," Mimi Baird set off on a quest to piece together the memoir and the man. In time her fingers became stained with the lead of the pencil he had used to write his manuscript, as she devoted herself to understanding who he was, why he disappeared, and what legacy she had inherited. The result of his extraordinary record and her journey to bring his name to light is He Wanted the Moon, an unforgettable testament to the reaches of the mind and the redeeming power of a determined heart.… (more)
Member:Citizenjoyce
Title:He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him
Authors:Mimi Baird (Author)
Other authors:Eve Claxton (Author)
Info:Crown (2016), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:E-Audiobook, Mental Illness, Bipolar, History of a Medicine, TIOLI, 2022

Work Information

He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him by Mimi Baird

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» See also 44 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Mimi Baird writes about her brilliant father who had some revolutionary insights into bipolar disorder long before anyone else did. He was involuntarily committed over and over to mental institutions, and she was kept from knowing much about him until she was an adult. In fact, I think she didn't write this book until she was in her 60s or 70s. I just found out Brad Pitt has optioned it for a movie. How's that for continuing to grow even in older age? ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Sep 22, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Beautifully written. Excellent read. Touching story of mental illness told through medical records, diary entries and a manuscript. ( )
  GrrlLovesBooks | Jan 19, 2019 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I have read half of this book, twice. Each time I reach the half way point I peter out and never pick it back up. I even tried the audio book version. I'm not sure what it is about this book, but I can't seem to care about any of the people in it. It's odd because it's right up my alley. I love medical books, especially ones that are non-fiction and about abnormal psychology, but Dr. Baird provides no insight for me.
  rosylibrarian | Apr 4, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
this beautifully written account of one man's suffering and treatment of manic depression during the early 1940s, as told years later by his daughter, who did exhaustive research. book is both heartbreaking and hair-raising, i found it hard to put down and, once i got into it, to pick up. ( )
  LindaRogers | Sep 15, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book was a very interesting tale of a very sad man and the troubles faced by his family. Dr. Baird was a very intelligent almost genius of a man whose life and work was cut short by his bipolar disorder. This Taylor's not only about Dr. Baird but it is also about his daughter trying to piece together the holes in their family's history. While it is an interesting tale it is also a sad one and makes one glad to know that advances have been made in the diagnosis, care, and treatment for people suffering from such mental illnesses. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in mental illness and specifically bipolar disorder. It is told from the perspective of the patient first hand, from the facilities he was treated at, and from his daughter and family. A Very good read. ( )
  chrirob | Jun 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
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Mimi Bairdprimary authorall editionscalculated
Claxton, Evemain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To my two children
JAKE AND MEG
the pearls of my life
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It was the spring of 1994 when I returned from work to find the package containing my father's manuscript on my doorstep.
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Soon to be a major motion picture, from Brad Pitt and Tony Kushner A Washington Post Best Book of 2015 A mid-century doctor's raw, unvarnished account of his own descent into madness, and his daughter's attempt to piece his life back together and make sense of her own.   Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Perry Baird was a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s. Early in his career, ahead of his time, he grew fascinated with identifying the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself. By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his wife and daughters estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized.             Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing this story, as her family went silent about the father who had been absent for most of her childhood. Decades later, a string of extraordinary coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript which Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape. This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage.       Fifty years after being told her father would forever be "ill" and "away," Mimi Baird set off on a quest to piece together the memoir and the man. In time her fingers became stained with the lead of the pencil he had used to write his manuscript, as she devoted herself to understanding who he was, why he disappeared, and what legacy she had inherited. The result of his extraordinary record and her journey to bring his name to light is He Wanted the Moon, an unforgettable testament to the reaches of the mind and the redeeming power of a determined heart.

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