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Deep in the American Psychiatric Association archives lies an unpublished historical manuscript entitled The Magic Years. Written during the early 1970s, it eulogised the giant strides of post-war American psychiatry made in this period of hope and promise when even the complete eradication of mental illness was thought possible.
Medical historian Matthew Smith argues that, while psychiatrists today might dismiss The Magic Years – and the science behind it – as misguided or naïve, it actually has much to teach us.
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