George J Makari   Professor of Psychiatry

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Historian and psychiatrist George Makari is the author of the widely acclaimed Revolution in Mind: the Creation of Psychoanalysis, which received the Gradiva Prize and the Hartmann Award, and was called the best history of its kind by Harold Bloom. The book has received over eighty reviews worldwide and has been the focus of seven international conferences. It has been published in German, Spanish, and Greek, and is in translation in Russian, Korean, and Japanese. Soul Machine: The Invention of the Modern Mind is his second book. His essays have won numerous honors and have appeared in The New York Times, The Lancet. The Week, and Cabinet.

Director of the DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry, Dr. Makari is Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and Adjunct Professor at the Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Research and Training and the Rockefeller Universities. He attended Brown University, Cornell University Medical College and the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center.

Soul Machine

A brilliant and comprehensive history of the creation of the modern Western mind. Soul Machine takes us back to the origins of modernity, a time when a crisis in religious authority and the scientific revolution led to searching questions about the nature of human inner life. This is the story of how a new concept - the mind - emerged as a potential solution, one that was part soul and part machine but fully neither.

George Makari, director of Cornell’s Institute for the History of Psychiatry, shows how writers, philosophers, doctors, and anatomists worked to construct notions of the mind as not an ethereal thing, but a natural one. Conducted in a cauldron of political turmoil, their efforts spanned 150 years and would underwrite the birth of the mind sciences, liberal politics, secular ethics, and radically new visions of the self, society, the ordering of knowledge, and the sources of unreason. Boldly original and synthetic, Soul Machine is a masterful new history of the mind, madness, and the emergence of psychological man in the Western world.


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Funding awarded

  • Rehousing psychiatry collections at the Oskar Diethelm Library.  awarded by National Endowment for the Humanities/Natl. Fndn. on the Arts & Humanities Principal Investigator 2020 - 2021



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  • George J Makari

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