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Andy Warhol was a hoarder : inside the minds of history's great personalities
2016
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Fiction/Biography Profile
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NonFiction
History
Psychology
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Celebrities
Geniuses
Artists
Scientists
Mental health
Psychology
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  Library Journal Review

Journalist Kalb (formerly of Newsweek) draws attention to 12 common mental health conditions by describing how each manifested itself in the personality of a historical figure. We learn that Marilyn Monroe probably suffered from borderline personality disorder; George Gershwin may have been afflicted by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; and Frank Lloyd Wright demonstrated signs of narcissism. Individual chapters focus on a specific person and his or her situation, with Kalb first discussing the upbringing that formed their character, then introducing a mental illness, lucidly describing its etiology and manifestations. Drawing heavily on firsthand accounts, the author addresses individual cases, such as Betty Ford's alcoholism. She makes a cogent argument based on what is known of the individual and the condition being described. All in all, readers are left wondering what role the ailments played in the success of these individuals. VERDICT Expect wide appeal. This work will entertain those who enjoy reading about the quirks of the famous as well as inform those who may want to understand the disabilities discussed.-Lydia Olszak, Bosler Memorial Lib., Carlisle, PA © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Kalb examines a diverse collection of 12 notables, including Marilyn Monroe and Albert Einstein, who suffered, or may have suffered, from mental health conditions. According to Kalb, Monroe purportedly had borderline personality disorder, Andy Warhol was an inveterate hoarder, and famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright exhibited narcissistic personality disorder. While Kalb can definitively describe the mental health conditions of some of the more contemporary figures-Betty Ford (alcoholism), Princess Diana (bulimia nervosa)-she needs to resort to speculation on historical figures, and the language suffers from the necessary caveats: Abraham Lincoln "likely suffered from clinical depression"; "it could be argued" Charles Darwin had anxiety; "Was Einstein on the autism spectrum?" Kalb's training as a journalist, not a psychiatrist, occasionally shows in less than clinical descriptions: "People with depression... are wired for despondency." Still, Kalb fruitfully employs diverse sources, including psychology studies and published biographies, to tell the undeniably fascinating stories of her subjects. This is an informative compilation and it's certain to provide readers with fascinating stories to share about an array of famous names. Agent: Gail Ross, Ross Yoon Agency. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
Was Andy Warhol a hoarder? Did Einstein have autism? Was Frank Lloyd Wright a narcissist? In this surprising, inventive, and meticulously researched look at the evolution of mental health, acclaimed health and science journalist Claudia Kalb gives readers a glimpse into the lives of high-profile historic figures through the lens of modern psychology, weaving groundbreaking research into biographical narratives that are deeply embedded in our culture. From Marilyn Monroe's borderline personality disorder to Charles Darwin's anxiety, Kalb provides compelling insight into a broad range of maladies, using historical records and interviews with leading mental health experts, biographers, sociologists, and other specialists. Packed with intriguing revelations, this smart narrative brings a new perspective to one of the hottest new topics in today's cultural conversation.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 9
Marilyn Monroep. 19
Howard Hughesp. 37
Andy Warholp. 59
Princess Dianap. 77
Abraham Lincolnp. 101
Christine Jorgensenp. 121
Frank Lloyd Wrightp. 145
Betty Fordp. 173
Charles Darwinp. 197
George Gershwinp. 221
Fyodor Dostoevskyp. 239
Albert Einsteinp. 261
Afterwordp. 289
Sources and Notesp. 293
Acknowledgmentsp. 315
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