Feb 2, 2021
Roy Richard Grinker is a Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at George Washington University. His books include Unstrange Minds: Remapping the World of Autism.
I met Dr. Grinker in May of 2007 while he was promoting Unstrange Minds, my favorite book on autism's history. The opportunity to speak to him about his new work, Nobody's Normal: How Culture Created the Stigma of Mental Illness was an honor.
Approximately twenty percent of all American adults—around 60 million people—live with a mental illness. But due to the lingering legacy of shame and secrecy around mental health, sixty percent of them receive no treatment. In NOBODY’S NORMAL: HOW CULTURE CREATED THE STIGMA OF MENTAL ILLNESS, anthropologist and professor Roy Richard Grinker chronicles the progress and setbacks in the struggle against stigma, from the 18th century through America’s major wars and into today’s high-tech economy In this uplifting book, infused with poignant human-interest stories, he shows us that in the 21st century we are finally getting closer to ending the discrimination, fear, and marginalization that has long impeded the social and therapeutic supports that reduce suffering.