Gary Greenberg
previous book - reviews

"Manufacturing Depression is a brilliant, provocative, delightfully idiosyncratic – and engagingly readable! – personal and intellectual odyssey through twentieth-century psychiatry's expansive love affair with depression. Anyone interested in depression will be challenged to think harder about what it all means for the kind of people we want to be."
— Jerome C. Wakefield, PhD, DSW, coauthor of The Loss of Sadness

"Manufacturing Depression is required reading for anyone taking, prescribing, advertising, or regulating antidepressants. But more than that, it is food for thought, indispensable in the debate on just how overmedicated and hyper-pathologized we are becoming as a society."
— Julie Holland, M.D., author of Weekends at Bellevue

"What a felicitous coincidence – to be...designed for happiness in a land dedicated to its pursuit! In these words, Gary Greenberg illustrates our dilemmas, using examples from the Book of Job to our recent financial crises, and reveals with uncommon eloquence the uncomfortable consequences of this pursuit. Readers beware – you have an unsettling journey ahead through an alarming underworld but your guide is dependable."
— David Healy, M.D., author of Mania and Let Them Eat Prozac

"An irreverent and entertaining but ultimately devastating account of how and why ordinary unhappiness and life problems have been redefined as the omnipresent disease of depression. Manufacturing Depression is a classic work of American skepticism and common sense. Somewhere Walker Percy and Mark Twain are smiling."
— Charles Barber, author of Comfortably Numb

"Gary Greenberg has become an oracle of the modern age. Where most explanation trends toward, well, the trendy, he proves once again that mere skepticism may not be enough. In a medicalized world of specious concepts where false hope has taken the form of a diagnosis and a pill, the only way to challenge current thinking is with a sledgehammer, or a copy of Manufacturing Depression. And best of all, this may be the funniest book on depression ever."
— Errol Morris, Academy Award-winning director of The Fog of War and The Thin Blue Line

"Gary Greenberg is a philosopher disguised as a psychotherapist, with the style and timing of a stand-up comic. Nobody this intelligent should be permitted to be this funny."
— Carl Elliott, M.D., author of Better Than Well

"[A] blistering, rambling and entertaining attack on the biomedical disease model of depression?.[a] lyrical history?[Manufacturing Depression] is more than a dizzying, dazzling critique of the biomedical disease model of depression. It is probably the most thoughtful book on depression ever written for a lay audience."
— Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D., Psychology Today

Library Journal Starred Review:

Psychotherapist, writer (The Noble Lie), and periodically depressed patient Greenberg elegantly dissects the medical-research-pharmaceutical complex. Starting with the biblical Job, he tours medical history, applied science, U.S. politics, and our love of legal drugs. He explains tests for depression and the DSMV-IV that helps doctors dance to the tunes of health insurance. Psychiatrist Peter Kramer faces his own music about the wonders of Prozac. Freud gets some credit for taking our biographies as clues to our selves before we tinkered with molecules like serotonin. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, proud of its outcome results, turns out to be mostly placebo, as are the pricey medications touted on TV. The epidemic of depression is a boon for Wall Street and a sign that doctors and patients prefer treating sorrow as disease than face existential personal and cultural challenges.

Verdict: A splendid, witty analysis of how we came to give up the stories of our lives in favor of analyzing the alphabet of which the stories are made. An essential read for all invested in medicine and social science.
— E. James Lieberman, George Washington University


Other Reviews:

Manufacturing Depression by Gary Greenberg
An account of the way misery has been pathologised in the interests of drug companies is vital reading
by Stephanie Merritt
The Observer, March 28th, 2010


Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease by Gary Greenberg
Lewis Wolpert takes issue with a book that accuses drug manufacturers of hyping depression
by Lewis Wolpert
The Guardian, March 13th, 2010


Big Mike: Am I Blue?
by Michael G. Glab
The Third City, March 10th, 2010


Head Case
Can psychiatry be a science?
by Louis Menand
The New Yorker, March 1st, 2010


Reviews: Gary Greenberg's 'Manufacturing Depression' and
Irving Kirsch's 'Emperor's New Drugs' take on antidepressants
by Jonathan Rottenberg
St. Petersburg Times, March 7th, 2010


Are you depressed or are you sad?
by Liz Else
NewScientist CultureLab, February 16th, 2010



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