He Wanted the Moon

The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter's Quest to Know Him
Author(s): Mimi Baird, Eve Claxton
Original Publish Date: Feb 17, 2015
eAudio - unabridged
Audio (6.60 hours)
Product Number: Z100083378
Released: Feb 17, 2015
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781101890059
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Soon to be a major motion picture, from Brad Pitt and Tony Kushner A Washington Post Best Book of 2015 A 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 the biochemical root of manic depression, just as he began to suffer from it himself. By the time the results of his groundbreaking experiments were published, Dr. Baird had been institutionalized multiple times, his medical license revoked, and his wife and daughters estranged. He later received a lobotomy and died from a consequent seizure, his research incomplete, his achievements unrecognized. Mimi Baird grew up never fully knowing this story, as her family went silent about the father who had been absent for most of her childhood. Decades later, a string of extraordinary coincidences led to the recovery of a manuscript which Dr. Baird had worked on throughout his brutal institutionalization, confinement, and escape. This remarkable document, reflecting periods of both manic exhilaration and clear-headed health, presents a startling portrait of a man who was a uniquely astute observer of his own condition, struggling with a disease for which there was no cure, racing against time to unlock the key to treatment before his illness became impossible to manage. Fifty years after being told her father would forever be "ill" and "away," Mimi Baird set off on a quest to piece together the memoir and the man. In time her fingers became stained with the lead of the pencil he had used to write his manuscript, as she devoted herself to understanding who he was, why he disappeared, and what legacy she had inherited. The result of his extraordinary record and her journey to bring his name to light is He Wanted the Moon, an unforgettable testament to the reaches of the mind and the redeeming power of a determined heart.

All formats/editions

Author(s): Mimi Baird, Eve Claxton
Product Number EB00550672
Released: Feb 17, 2015
Business Term: 2 Year
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: #9780804137485

Professional reviews

"Narrator Paul Boehmer nails the distinctive speech patterns of a person with bipolar disorder. As Dr. Perry Baird transitions from prominent dermatologist to tortured patient, Boehmer's reading progresses from calm and orderly to emotional and chaotic. Both enlightening and heartbreaking, Baird's portrait of her father reflects common psychiatric practices in the mid-twentieth century. Depictions of cruel shock therapy and even lobotomy chill the listener. Crafted from Dr. Baird's hospital journals, his daughter's methodical examination of the father she barely knew initially seems cold, but it culminates in love for a man who was unjustly sentenced to a miserable life. This outstanding work with three narrators is a must-listen for all who yearn for greater understanding of mental disorders, as well as those who love a good story. J.J.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"