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Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer
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Against Depression by Peter D. Kramer
Paperback $24.00
Jul 25, 2006 | ISBN 9780143036968

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““[Kramer] may have done more than anybody else to illuminate the clawing, scrabrous, catastrophic monotony that is depressive illness . . . An eloquent, absorbing book.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Deeply felt… [Kramer’s] book is a polemic against a society that accepts depression as a fact of life.” —O, The Oprah Magazine

“Kramer makes an eloquent case for considering depression a disease… Captivating, convincing and thorough.” —San Francisco Chronicle

In Against Depression, Peter Kramer opens our eyes once again to a fresh, important and humane understanding of the human condition. His bold rethinking of the condition we call ‘depression’ gives us a clear-eyed scenario for freedom from the grip of this soul-searing disorder.” —Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence

“There is nothing romantic in the suffering of depression. Kramer shows us the horrific reality of the illness, dispelling myths that pervade popular culture. This book should usher in an era when the disordered chemistry of the brain is viewed with the same concern and care that mark the treatment of any malady.” —Jerome Groopman, Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

“Here one of our most thoughtful psychiatrists attends a wide-spread psychological malady—the bouts of melancholy that afflict so many individuals, laying them low in mind and spirit. This book offers much critical wisdom, even as it is written with a grace and sensitivity that will endear its words to the reader.” —Robert Coles, Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities, Harvard Medical School

“Our treasured sense of self is often challenged by neuroscience—how do you wedge ‘Self’ in among neurons and synapses and neurotransmitters? No one has written about these issues in a more sensitive, thought-provoking and accessible way, and has touched more people in the process, than Peter Kramer.” —Robert Sapolsky, Professor of Biological Sciences, Stanford University

“Peter Kramer is an analyst of exceptional sensitivity and insight. To read his prose on virtually any subject is to be provoked, enthralled, illuminated.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“Strong, erudite, and always readable . . . Against Depression confirms the adage that reading can be transformative.” Boston Globe

“[Against Depression] successfully advances the cartography of a (quite literally) gray area between physical and mental illness.” New York Times

“Kramer examines depression with a cool, intelligent and sympathetic eye. . . there are no straw men in Against Depression . Kramer gives the arguments against his ‘medical’ view of depression full muscle and wrestles them with admirable exertion and impressive skill.” — Washington Post

“A provocative take on the science and mythology of depression.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Peter Kramer, of Listening to Prozac fame, brings the latest brain science to his new book, Against Depression. . . [Kramer] is a lucid and shrewd popularizer of complex ideas”Elle

“Peter Kramer’s instinct for a memorable narrative is unerring . . . an admirable and welcome book. Kramer’s clearly-written, even-handed discussion of the causes of depression, for example, provides a nuanced and layered counter to the oversimplified explanatory stories still sometimes issuing from the respective nature and nurture camps. . . a wonderfully stimulating and enjoyable [book] to read.” Metapsychology

“Highly recommended.” Library Journal

“A heartfelt argument that depression is not, as many would have it, a source of heroic melancholy and artistic genius, but, rather, a pathological condition that should, if possible, be eradicated. . . While not predicting that depression will be eliminated anytime soon, Kramer brings hope to those afflicted by it. ” Kirkus

“The book is rich with questions that engage the reader in an active dialogue. . .Resolute but not preachy, this book is an important addition to the growing public health campaign against depression.” Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

Table Of Contents


What It Is to Us
1. The Final Memoir
2. Return
3. What If
4. Ambivalence
5. Altogether
6. Charm
7. More Charm
8. Eros
9. Obvious Confusion: Three Vignettes

What It Is
10. Altogether Again
11. Getting There
12. Magnitude
13. Extent
14. Convergence
15. Resilience
16. Here and Now

What It Will Be
17. The End of Melancholy
18. Art
19. The Natural
20. Alienation
21. After Depression


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