In Liberty and Insanity in the Age of the American Revolution, Sarah L. Swedberg examines how conceptions of mental illness intersected with American society, law, and politics during the early American Republic. Swedberg illustrates how concerns about insanity raised difficult questions about the nature of governance. Revolutionaries built the American government based on rational principles, but could not protect it from irrational actors that they feared could cause the body politic to grow mentally or physically ill. This book is recommended for students and scholars of history, political science, legal studies, sociology, literature, psychology, and public health.
Sarah Swedberg is a Professor of History at Colorado Mesa University where she has taught since 1999. She is a regular writer for Nursing Clio. Her book, Liberty and Insanity in the Age of the American Revolution (Lexington, 2020) began with a 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Professors on the problem of governance in the early American Republic houses at the Library Company.
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