Book Reviews

Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 2015
VoL 22, No.4, 635-637,
Review by Ian Freckelton QC

Review Excerpt:

Welcome to the Loony Bin will offend, antagonise, confront, and entertain. Its challenge to greater intellectual rigour is an important scholarly contribution. It is a reflective account of a genuinely independent thinker, of a professional life oppositionally lived, of a psychiatrist who has battled the fashions of the day and who moves toward retirement as feisty as he was, perhaps more so, when he first entered Callan Park Hospital in the mid-1950s. Dr Bell’s autobiography is an engaging and important work. It provides articulate and historically valuable insights into the development of psychiatry over the past 55 years. This alone makes it worthwhile. But, most particularly, it contains a powerful critique of uncritical thinking into which it is too easy for psychiatrists and lawyers alike to lapse. It should be mandatory reading for medical and legal practitioners. In agreeing or disagreeing with the views expressed by Dr Bell, we are the better for having been challenged.”

Welcome to the Loony Bin
Review by Chester Porter QC

Review Excerpt:

“My brother was an engineer. That was a precise science, but psychiatry is far from precise. This book describes very vividly the limitations and the achievements of modern psychiatry at a time when thinking people must be concerned. Dr. Bell’s book covers the past disappointment and the future hope.”

It is to be hoped that this book will be widely read, and as a result a mystery science will be at least partially revealed.

Welcome to the Loony Bin
This review appears in Welcome to the Loony Bin, page 396.
Review by Dr Carl Edmonds

Review Excerpt:

“Students of psychiatry, who wish to avoid the mistakes of the past, should read this book. So should the public, which has an even greater need to avoid the mistakes, which fall on them. The text will assist lawyers involved in personal injury litigation and their clients, who believe in justice. They will not be the same afterwards. This text introduces the cold wind of evidence-based science to the fuzzy pomposity of psychiatric platitudes and legal illogic.

The Royal Australian & New Zealand
College of Psychiatrists
New South Wales Branch, The Newsletter
Review by Dr Andrew Frukacz

Review Excerpts:

“…we come to experience the tone of the whole volume, namely a man whose long experience enables him to cut through the political correctness that tends to infect psychiatry in particular.”

“…I found Dr Bell’s book to be both entertaining and informative.”

“So to borrow from a personality currently in the public’s attention – “do yourself a favour!””

Mosman Daily, 2015
Thursday, 18 June 2015, NewsLocal digital edition,
Review by Kate Crawford

Review Excerpt:

“For the layman, the book gives a fascinating insight into the world of psychiatry.”