Quite a storm about your book has appeared on amazon.com!
By the way, does Acocella analyze the iatrogenic (sp?) effects of such invidious classification--in other words, how the helping professions acting in terms of their own classifications themselves induce the behavior they are treating? I can't remember the precise dynamics of this process, but remember reading somewhere something by Ian Hacking about this well known psychological process.
On Wed, 17 Nov 1999, Katha Pollitt wrote:
> In line with the daycare satanic abuse and feminism thread, I recommend
> Jona Acocella's new book 'Creating hysteria:women and Multiple
> Personality Disorder.' Some of you might have read the section that
> appeared in the new Yorker, about how "sybil," whose case history
> started the fad for MPD diagnosis, wasn't really a multiple. I think
> Acocella does a brilliant job of unpacking the many meanings of the MPD
> craze -- like Satanic ritual abuse it has feminist aspects, Christian
> fundamentalist aspects, nutty-psychiatry aspects, class aspects--also
> medical insurance aspects (MPDs were hospitalized in special units and
> used to generate huge insurance claims -- when the insurance dried up,
> they were released).. She sees MPD as a misogynist diagnosis (not that
> women can't be misogynous, it's a fact that the top shrinks in the field
> are all men) that once again told women that their problems lay deep in
> the inner self, not in their actual circumstances (invariably grim for
> this kind of patient -- working class women with tons of problems,
> including mental and emotional ones).
> It's a really good book. And Acocella is a feminist. maybe Alex will
> write a column accusing her of not having written her book twelve years
> Katha Pollitt