Those of us who lean in the direction of psychosomatic illness (at least those of us who have survived our psychosomatic illnesses), have been waiting for a visual cautionary book like this for decades. Oddly, this was published in 1953. So why wasn’t it made widely available? Although the expressionistic illustrations and information graphics may seem satiric, they accompany a very serious text by an expert, O. Spurgeon English, M.D., whose name also seems like a joke, but is not. This book and its graphics answer all the questions vividly and eloquently. One question, though: Does anybody know what the vagus nerves are?
O. Spurgeon English, MD was the founding Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Temple University in 1937. He remains a legendary figure in American psychiatry, and an unforgettable character for those who had the privilege of being taught by him. Among his many accomplishments were his founding role in the American Psychosomatic Society in 1947, and the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry (GAP) in 1946.
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About Steven HellerSteven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →