E. Fuller Torrey, indefatigable champion of better treatment for the severely mentally ill, has written another book on their behalf. This is a remarkable work: remarkably strong and weak in alternating spurts. If the intent of Torrey and coauthor Judy Miller was to convince the reader that there is an epidemic of insanity that is being ignored, unrecognized, or dismissed as irrelevant, they have failed (at least for me). If, however, their aim was to present a highly literate, poignant, historical review of the absolutely shameful ways in which we have treated the mentally ill for the last 250 years in North America and the British Isles, they have done a smashing job—and, at the same time, raised pertinent and provocative challenges to the way we view schizophrenia. We are too prone to think that the way things are is the way they were and always will be. Lacing their work with references to literature contemporaneous to the period reviewed does little or nothing to buttress the authors’ contention but helps provide a historical review that can stand on its own merit.