Mad by the Millions

Mad by the Millions

Mental Disorders and the Early Years of the World Health Organization

Harry Yi-Jui Wu


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The World Health Organization's post-World War II work on the epidemiology and classification of mental disorders and its vision of a "world psyche."

In 1946, the World Health Organization undertook a project in social psychiatry that aimed to discover the epidemiology and classification of mental disorders. In Mad by the Millions, Harry Y-Jui Wu examines the WHO's ambitious project, arguing that it was shaped by the postwar faith in technology and expertise and the universalizing vision of a "world psyche." Wu shows that the WHO's idealized scientific internationalism laid the foundations of today's highly highly metricalized global mental health system.


Harry Yi-Jui Wu:
Harry Yi-Jui Wu is Associate Professor in the Cross College Elite Program and Department of Medical Humanities and Social Medicine at National Cheng-Kung University in Taiwan.