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Publisher's Summary

A haunting and true short story of the lobotomist who cut a brutal swathe through the lives of thousands of vulnerable Americans from the author of Miracle at Coney Island.

In July 1952, Dr. Walter Freeman arrived at the gates of a West Virginia asylum. In his medical bag he carried two metal picks and a surgical hammer. He had invented a “cheap, easy” ten-minute lobotomy. The press described it as a miracle cure, a new frontier in psychosurgery.

That summer, in just twelve days, Freeman lobotomized 228 men, women, and children in West Virginia’s public mental hospitals. His blitzkrieg of brain surgery became known as “Operation Ice Pick,” named after the tools he wielded.

To some, the doctor was a hero, solving the crisis facing the nation’s underfunded and overcrowded psychiatric institutions. But many who watched him operate saw a dangerous risk-taker, a showman and a charlatan. This is the true story of a scientific pioneer whose misguided quest created one of the biggest tragedies in American medical history.

©2022 Claire Prentice. (P)2022 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Doctor Ice Pick

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Enjoyed it!

I really enjoyed the story along with the readers voice. I love these quick “reads” that have lots of info.

1 person found this helpful

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Scary!

The book was alittle scary. To think that someone could experiment on a person was unbelievable. The narrator was very good he kept me wanting to hear more.

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  • me
  • 06-30-22

Documentary

When I got this book I did not realize it was going to be more of a documentary it was a good book but that was not looking for a documentary style

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A sad time for the mental ill!!

Hard to understand why they allowed this to go no for so long so awful!

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A Brain Changer

When I first started my Nursing career in the mid 1970's, I was told of this ghastly procedure. I was very interested in hearing in more detail, the "whys" of lobotomy and the justification for carrying this out. This book helped me to find answers to my questions. I recommend Dr Ice Pick to
anyone who wants to know how & why & where and on whom lobotomies were done. The reading was very well done.

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A fascinating story .

I found this story to be very interesting. I had never heard of the physician subject or what he had done in the name of medicine. The narration was a little mechanical but I liked the book.

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great read

Enjoyed the audio. I worked at a psychiatric hospital in the past. Glad to see that old unuseful treatments have been publicized and need to be illegal.

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Astonishing medical drama; worthy cautionary tale

Fascinating and disturbing story of how medical malpractice is approved, lauded, and promoted, with tax dollars, even as patients are harmed. And social pressure against any nay-saying increases upon those who know from experience what is really happening but become convinced there is no reason to speak out against the practice.

At the very end, the author mentions several other well-known medical travesties. Sadly, even No the book was published in 2022, the other makes no mention of the similar circumstances surrounding the recent FDA-approved “solutions” to the COVID-19 virus.

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Awful narration

Fascinating short story, but awful narration, that sounded like a robot or an automated voice.

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Interesting

Very interesting topic, and relatively underwhelming narration. From the beginning, it is obvious that Dr. Walter Freeman is a negative person - but neither did he portray himself as such, nor did the press of that time portray him as such. Narration of Chanté McCormick is well delivered and annunciated, but leaves no qualm to the listener that Dr. Freeman is another Dr. Mengele. Interestingly, even the author denotes that, at least in the USA, public opinion did more to eliminate lobotomies than the profession itself. The author would do well to draw parallel to Dr. Mengele, eugenics, and not only Elizabeth Holmes and opioid epidemic. Additionally, in next decade or so, we will see if a parallel to some newer developments and persons, such as Dr. Fauci is warranted.