Book Review of Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives by James E. Moran & David Wright

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Book Review

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Mental Health, Intellectual Disabilities, Canada, Disability and Mental Health Research, Book Review


Canada is by no means inundated by scholarship surrounding the history of people with mental health problems or intellectual disabilities. Despite the existence of some fine essays and treatises on narrower topics, as the Editors of this excellent collection opine, "there have been very few attempts at national synthesis."' Worse still, from the perspective of the potential of research to foster a critical climate in an area rife with deference towards mental health professionals and discriminatory attitudes towards the citizens who are the subjects of the law, is Canada's having been "bypassed [by] what is often referred to as the 'revisionist' phase of the 1970s," which had provided "an unprecedented scholarly attack on the traditional view." Mental Health and Canadian Society: Historical Perspectives helps to fill these gaps, even if, as an edited collection spanning about one hundred seventy years and several regions, it cannot remedy decades of comparative scholarly inattention.