Over the last few decades, academic psychiatry has undergone a revolution. After the Second World War, most department chairs were psychoanalysts who belonged to separate institutes, not subject to the checks and balances of academia, and who did not subscribe to the tenets of scientific medicine. The revolution against psychoanalytic dominance began when a group of psychiatrists developed an evidence-based model that brought psychiatry back into the medical mainstream.
In The Fall of an Icon, Joel Paris narrates the history of this transition, placing it in the context of current trends in science and medicine. He illustrates the story using interviews with prominent academic psychiatrists in Canada and the United States, and describes his own experiences as a psychiatrist: how he was caught up in the excitement of the psychoanalytic model, how he became disillusioned with it, and how he came to a new and more scientific view of his discipline. This is an essential work for understanding the recent history of psychiatry.