Gerald Grob on the History of Tonsillectomy

tonsilsIn the same issue of History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences that is featured in this blog’s last posting, there is an article by Gerald Grob of Rutgers U. on the rise and fall of tonsillectomies, which were performed for decades on practically every child in the US who had a case of tonsilitis, including yours truly. (Indeed, it was such a universal experience, that one of Bill Cosby’s earliest popular — and truly hilarious — comedy routines was about being only a few years old and in the hospital for a tonsillectomy.)

Normally this would not be of direct interest to historians of psychology, except that Grob is best known for his authoritative accounts (book, book, on video, podcast interview) of the history of the rise and fall of the mental asylum/hospital in the US, and the attempt to replace them by “community mental health” centers.

About Christopher Green

Professor of Psychology at York University (Toronto). Former editor of the Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. Creator of the "Classics in the History of Psychology" website and of the "This Week in the History of Psychology" podcast series.