Sunday, February 10, 2008

Against Depression

by Peter D. Kramer

“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

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

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

“Kramer makes an eloquent case for considering depression a disease . . . Captivating, convincing, and very, very thorough. . . Against Depression is a fascinating, informative and provocative book that helps frame the conversation that will take place over the next 20 years.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“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

“By turns poetic and academic, and always deeply felt, [Kramer’s] book is a polemic against a society that accepts depression as a fact of life.” — O, the Oprah Magazine

“Peter Kramer, of Listening to Prozac fame, brings the latest brain science to his new book, Against Depression. . . [An] ambitious new foray into the always rolling nature versus nurture debate . . . [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

[Peter D. Kramer’s bold rethinking of the inner state we call ‘depression’ give us a clear scenario for freedom from the grip of this soul-searing disorder.” — Daniel Goleman

“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. A clear, valuable exposition of the progress researchers are making in understanding an all-too-common disease.” — Kirkus

"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

“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

“The book maintains the perfect balance between science and human interest, as the author details both psychiatric studies and personal experience. A comparison of the biochemical workings of depression with the physical and observable symptoms serves as an intellectual trip for readers and provides a thorough exploration of what Kramer dubs ‘the most devastating disease known to humankind.’ 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

A New York Times "Editors' Choice"

Against Depression is available in Chinese, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish, as well audio and Kindle editions.