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Pox: Genius, Madness and the Mysteries of Syphilis: Book by Deborah Hayden

Pox: Genius, Madness and the Mysteries of Syphilis

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ISBN: 9780465028818    Publisher: The Perseus Books Group Year of publishing: 2003     Format:  Hardback No of Pages: 400        Language: English
This brilliant work of social history reveals the hidden impact of syphilis on many of history's famous figures--from Wilde to Hitler to Abraham Lincoln--and its influence on the culture they created....Read more
This brilliant work of social history reveals the hidden impact of syphilis on many of history's famous figures--from Wilde to Hitler to Abraham Lincoln--and its influence on the culture they created. Was Beethoven experiencing syphilitic euphoria when he composed "Ode to Joy"? Did van Gogh paint "Crows Over the Wheatfield" in a fit of diseased madness right before he shot himself? Was syphilis a stowaway on Columbus's return voyage to Europe? The answers to these provocative questions are likely "yes," claims Deborah Hayden in this riveting investigation of the effects of the "Pox" on the lives and works of world figures from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. Writing with remarkable insight and narrative flair, Hayden argues that biographers and historians have vastly underestimated the influence of what Thomas Mann called "this exhilarating yet wasting disease. " Shrouded in secrecy, syphilis was accompanied by wild euphoria and suicidal depression, megalomania and paranoia, profoundly affecting sufferers' worldview, their sexual behavior and personality, and, of course, their art.
Deeply informed and courageously argued, Pox has already been heralded as a major contribution to our understanding of genius, madness, and creativity.
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About the author: Deborah Hayden
Deborah Hayden, an independent schol ar and marketing executive, has lectured widely on "Syphilis and Creativity," most recently at UCSF Medical School,... Read more
Deborah Hayden, an independent schol ar and marketing executive, has lectured widely on "Syphilis and Creativity," most recently at UCSF Medical School, San Francisco Conservatory of Musi c, and the Bay Area History of Medicine Society. S he lives in Mill Valley, California.
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