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Reviews

"Both science and history blend in a survey of aging and dementia, making for a broad discussion not just of changing American attitudes and culture, but changing health system responses."

"This work is a major contribution to the history of dementia and Alzheimer disease."

"Ballenger has done the field a great service in tracing the historical roots of this problem."

"An important book that deserves a wide readership."

"Give[s] the reader a vibrant and provocative account of how to think about Alzheimer’s disease in anything but settled or conventional terms."

"A substantial contribution to our knowledge... We are grateful to Ballenger for making a contribution to creating such wisdom and helping advance our culture's moral imagination."

"A powerful, lucid account... Ballenger can be congratulated for a truly fascinating exploration of aging and senility. This book will appeal to physicians and historians, and the author (or the publishers) should consider marketing it to a broader public audience."

"Ballenger aims not only to provide a cultural history of the disease but also to make ethical and epistemological claims about whether a human being with advanced Alzheimer's disease is still a person. These ambitions impose unusually high scholarly standards. Ballenger is up to the task."

"A lucid and thoughtful history and a timely contribution... will appeal to readers from all professional backgrounds."

"This revealing and informative account is worth reading."

"Ballenger has written a persuasive account of a complicated subject, confronting the problem of dementia compassionately but unflinchingly... His writing is clear, graceful, and unburdened by jargon. This book deserves to be widely read by both historians and people dealing directly with dementia, including health care providers and family members."

"No previous author has been able to weave together biomedical data, social science inquiries, policy issues, and popular attitudes while at the same time giving readers a sense of how victims of this dreaded disease (and those who love and care for them) think, feel, and behave. Ballenger's experiences as a caregiver and training as a historian of medicine provide the requisite insights to produce a book that will quickly become the standard work in the field. With this substantial, judicious piece of scholarship, Ballenger appropriately underscores the racial, class, and gender variations in the identification and care of the patient population."