He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird

He Wanted the Moon

Soon to be a major motion picture, from Brad Pitt and Tony KushnerA Washington Post Best Book of 2015A mid-century doctor's raw, unvarnished account of his own descent into madness, and his daughter's attempt to piece his life back together and make sense of her own. Texas-born and Harvard-educated, Dr. Perry Baird was a rising medical star in the late 1920s and 1930s. Early in his career, ahead of his time, he grew fascinated with identifying t...


Details He Wanted the Moon

TitleHe Wanted the Moon
Author
Release DateFeb 17th, 2015
PublisherBroadway Books
LanguageEnglish
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir, Biography, Psychology, Mental Health, Mental Illness, Health
Rating

Reviews He Wanted the Moon

  • Diane S ☔
    2014-10-01
    A daughters quest to understand the father that literally disappeared from her life. In 1944, Doctor Percy Baird was confined to a mental institution after a sever episode of mania. Mimi was only six when he was no longer in the home and was only told by her mother, that he was away. The first part of the book are all in her Father's writing, he penned down his experiences with his illness and his treatment at the institutions to which he was com...
  • Cathy
    2015-03-24
    A Harvard educated dermatologist Dr. Perry Biard, develops bipolar disorder, is institutionalized resulting in the loss of his family, friends and practice. It is 1944 and his disappearance is never explained to his six year old daughter, Mimi. For years denial and silence were maintained until a chance discussion with a doctor leads to information and opens the extraordinary journey Mimi takes to uncover what she can about her father. He Wanted ...
  • Josh Caporale
    2017-04-06
    When shopping at River Road Books in Fair Haven, New Jersey, I came across some promising books in areas that I was certain would interest me. Then I came across He Wanted the Moon, read the back, and knew that this was something I had to buy. It was a remarkable decision! This is a text that left me thinking about the content beyond the text and as I write this, I am thinking about ways regarding the approaches I take to engage in further resear...
  • Kara
    2014-09-03
    Note: In composing this review, I have assumed the reader to have read the summary provided on the page on which this is posted, or, regardless of what information this page does or doesn't provide, or to have found out this book's general topic.I was very excited to read He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him, and I was fortunate enough to win an advance edition (publication ex...
  • W. Whalin
    2015-03-07
    This compelling read has two clear parts. The first portion uses first person diary entries from a successful dermatologist Dr. Perry Baird who suffers from manic depression. The disease ends his medical career. The second portion tells the inside story of a daughter's search (the author Mimi Baird) to know and understand her father. I found both the first part and the second portion a page-turner experience. The title for this fascinating book c...
  • Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
    2014-12-29
    HE WANTED THE MOON is an amazing book that has stuck with me months after I read it. I found the book to be educational --in an entertaining way-- and at times simply horrifying. Now I rather imagine that you, like me, have run across some textbook entries or articles about the Manic-Depressive state. I don't know about you but I feel that Depression is the easier part of that equation to understand. Depression-alone is a common enough ailment. M...
  • Barb
    2015-02-15
    This book is a love story and tribute to the author's father and a heartbreaking first hand account of his experiences as a patient in a mental hospital. The author has combined her father's writings, his medical records and her personal memories to create a loving tribute to a brilliant but mentally ill man.Anyone with an interest in mental health will find this a worthy read. Perry Baird's descriptions of his physical and emotional isolation fr...
  • AJ
    2014-11-03
    He Wanted the Moon is a captivating account of Dr. Perry Baird's mental illness as recounted by his restored memoir and by his daughter. The book is split into roughly two parts, the first composed of Dr. Baird's painstakingly reconstructed manuscript and the second more autobiographical about the author and her father.Dr. Baird's account of his manic-depressive illness in the mid-1940s is honest, compelling, and absolutely horrifying to read. It...
  • Stacy Cook
    2014-09-15
    The story of Dr. Perry Baird, a doctor suffering from Manic Depression (aka Bipolar Disorder) and his quest to find a cure before the disease over takes his own life. I won this book from both Goodreads and Librarything and applied to win at both websites because I too live with Bipolar Disorder. I could really sympathize with Dr. Baird and his horrific struggles in mental hospitals. I took notes, highlighted and post-it noted this book to death....
  • Marjorie
    2014-12-29
    Dr. Perry Baird’s daughter, Mimi Baird, has put together a fascinating and heart-wrenching book chronicling her father’s struggle with bipolar disease in the 40's. The book consists partly of her father’s own writings while in a mental institution and partly her efforts to learn more about her father’s life.I commend this author’s achievement in bringing her father’s story to publication. He had wanted his story told but was never abl...
  • Dena (Batch of Books)
    2016-04-14
    Dr. Perry Baird was a brilliant man with a promising career ahead of him. He was bright, charismatic, and full of energy. He had a beautiful wife and two little daughters that he loved dearly. He also suffered from manic depression. In the high manic phases, he had an abundance of energy and stamina. He was also violent, destructive, and unpredictable. The first part of He Wanted the Moon is Dr. Baird’s own account of his illness and the treatm...
  • Kathleen Nightingale
    2016-06-21
    Really a 4.75 but we aren't allowed to do fractions on Goodreads.This book was the most disturing and profounding moving book I have read this year. Baird's account of how he endured straighjackets, cold packs, insulin induced comas, clectric shock therapy and humilition he soldiered on with his manic depression. It wasn't until Baird received a lobotomy and shock therapy that he was totally broken down and subsequently died. How unfortunate. Bai...
  • Rebecca
    2015-02-05
    I reviewed this book, and, for a while, I didn't see much audience for it. A brilliant manic-depressive doctor's journal from the 50's. Hmm. The man's daughter received these writings years and years after her father's death. She had never really been told where he had gone when she was 6 (to the mental hospital). I am mildly interested in bipolar disorder and mental illness, but these pages were heartbreaking in their honesty or not (I guess you...
  • Pam Mooney
    2014-09-04
    A beautiful and tragic story pieced together by the doctor's daughter. Very much a primer for doctors, friends, and family members of those with mental illness. You are able to read the physician patient's manuscript along with the medical records from the hospital. Coupled with the daughter's account this gives a rare insight to the lack of understanding and unimaginable treatments of those with mental illness within this era. You may be able to...
  • Kim H.
    2015-02-17
    Having worked in several fields of service that included people with various forms of mental illness (nursing homes, 13 years as an ordained parish minister, now with a mental health office), I find the opportunity to delve into the inner workings and thoughts of those with any disorder an opportunity to better understand not only that person, but others as well. That's why I was eager to read Mimi Baird's account of her father's bi-polar disorde...
  • Len
    2018-04-04
    One of my favourite genres is the mental health memoir - I have long been intrigued by examinations of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and the like. He Wanted the Moon is incredibly heartbreaking. Imagine "manic depression" in the 1940s, in the time of asylums, shock treatments and lobotomies, before the medications and therapies that have gone a great distance to help some live better lives.To imagine it is one thing - to follow even part of thi...
  • Sorayya Khan
    2018-04-13
    I couldn't put this book down once I started it. It is phenomenal for the way it chronicles madness-- a narrative based on her father's manuscript and interspersed with Mimi Baird's own recollections. Memoir is an attempt to make sense of the world, but doing so with a parent's narrative isn't common and I found the weaving in and out fascinating. I loved this sentence toward the end of the book: "I could carry our family secrets to the grave, as...
  • Brigid Keely
    2015-09-11
    In 1944, when Mimi Baird was 6 years old, her father disappeared from her life. Following the social mores of the time, her mother never rarely mentioned him. She divorced and remarried and Mimi Baird was left with a father-shaped hole in the fabric of her life. As an adult, she reconnected with her father's family and received from them a manuscript her father, Dr. Perry Baird, had written. She used this manuscript, this memoir, to reconstruct s...
  • Bianca
    2015-03-22
    I requested this book from Blogging for Books to review because I was immediately fascinated by the subject. I've read a couple of other books dealing with the subject of manic depression disorder (now called bipolar disorder) such as An Unquiet Mind and Brain on Fire (both really great!). He Wanted the Moon is a daughter's quest to know and understand the father she never really got to know as a child. Dr. Perry Baird was a brilliant Harvard edu...
  • Michelle
    2014-09-20
    This is an extraordinary and heartfelt family story of a father and family broken and severed by severe mental illness. Known in the 1930's-1940's as "manic depressive psychosis" a most feared, dreaded, frequently misunderstood mental condition, defined today as Bipolar Spectrum Disorder in the DSM. Authored by Mimi Baird with Eve Claxton, her brilliant highly regarded father Perry Baird M.D. was scientifically researching the disorder, his findi...
  • Ann
    2015-04-15
    This book should be required reading for anyone with an interest in the true nature of mania. The book consists nearly entirely of (edited) journals and notes written by Dr. Perry Baird (the author's father), a well-known dermatologist who, around 1944, went into a deep manic episode from which he never fully recovered. After a few days of bouncing around Boston, arousing increasing concerns in his family, friends and associates, he was forcibly ...
  • Kristy K
    2015-01-07
    I received an advanced reader's copy from Read It Forward in return for an honest review.I am having a hard time putting into words just how powerful He Wanted the Moon was for me. It was utterly fascinating and heart wrenchingly tragic. Mimi Baird, the author and Dr. Baird’s daughter, transcribed his story from the withered pieces of paper he had written on into this beautiful narrative. Then she added her own memories and journey through this...
  • Beth
    2015-01-19
    Manic depression, now known as bi-polar disorder, is a heart-breaking disease. As with most mental illnesses, it affects not only the person suffering, but also their friends and family members in ways often unthinkable for those unaffected. How much more suffering would be felt if the person with the disease was a doctor - and one who had studied the mental illness he was beginning to suffer from?Mimi Baird "lost" her father as a very young girl...
  • Vikki
    2015-05-11
    He Wanted the Moon by Mimi Baird was a most interesting book for me. This is the story of the author's father. He was a Harvard-educated doctor living in the 1930s and 1940s. He was a dermatologist and did research on Addison's disease. His work was interrupted by his bouts of manic depression that he was hospitalized for. He was subjected to straight jackets (which he tells us how to get out of) and eventually has a lobotomy. This book is the d...
  • Vivian Harrington
    2015-02-08
    He Wanted The Moon * The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know HimBy Mimi Baird with Eve ClaxtonThis book is a bald, brutal, deeply disturbing look at mental illness from the perspective of the ultimate insider – Harvard educated physician Perry Baird who suffered from bi-polar disorder and wrote about his experiences in mental institutions during the 1930’s through the 1950’s. Mimi Baird was 6 ye...
  • Claudia Putnam
    2015-12-29
    Not the greatest writing at times, but workable, and worth reading for historical value but also because of the intriguing work the brilliant Perry Baird began by injecting cats whose adrenal glands had been removed with the blood of manic patients. Gross as this animal research was, the injected cats lived about 5 times longer, suggesting SOMETHING about adrenaline and mania, which seems intuitive anyhow. The results were published in a peer-rev...
  • Steven
    2015-02-20
    Quite a moving tale of a daughter, who, after years of wondering about the father she hardly remembered, is handed a box containing a manuscript written by him. Baird's father was a well-heeled dermatologist in Boston in the '30s and '40s who developed what we would today call bipolar disorder. As a physician, he was somewhat aware of the process he was going through, and attempted to write down his experiences as his career, family and sanity me...
  • Sarah
    2014-12-22
    I won this book as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.I don't read a lot of adult non-fiction, but that doesn't mean I'm not interested. So, I was pleased to win this book and give it a shot. Unfortunately, it wasn't really what I expected. The first part of the book is Dr. Baird's manuscript - the book he wrote through his struggle with manic depression. It's presented mostly without comment in part one and is, at times, a bit diffic...
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    2014-11-23
    Dr Perry Baird was experimenting with a cure for manic depression - as he himself was diagnosed with the disease. By the time his experiments were found to be helpful Dr Baird had been repeatedly committed to an insane asylum. During his institutionalization he wrote with the intent of publishing a book on this mental disorder. He later had a lobotomy and died institutionalized. After his death, his daughter, Mimi, was sent his actual hand writte...