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Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2020
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Description
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEARONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEARPEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEARNamed a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, TIME, SlateSmithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?     What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.     With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.
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Street Date:
04/07/2020
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780385543774
ASIN:
B07TZYFR71
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APA Citation (style guide)

Robert Kolker. (2020). Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Robert Kolker. 2020. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Robert Kolker, Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Robert Kolker. Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
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      • bioText: ROBERT KOLKER is the New York Times bestselling author of Lost Girls, named one of the New York Times' 100 Notable Books and one of Publisher's Weekly's Top Ten Books of 2013. As a journalist, his work has appeared in New York magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, The New York Times Magazine, Wired, GQ, Oprah, and Men's Journal. He is a National Magazine Award finalist and a recipient of the Harry Frank Guggenheim 2011 Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting Award from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
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title
Hidden Valley Road
fullDescription
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
PEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, TIME, SlateSmithsonian, The New York Post, and Amazon 

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony—and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
     What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.
     With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family's unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2020
        One family's history reveals the mystery of schizophrenia. In a riveting and disquieting narrative, Kolker (Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery, 2013) interweaves a biography of the Galvin family with a chronicle of medicine's treatment of, and research into, schizophrenia. Don and Mimi Galvin had 12 children--10 boys and two girls--born between 1945 and 1965. Religious beliefs--both parents were Catholic--were not the only reason for their fecundity. Mimi seemed to crave the distinction of "being known as a mother who could easily accomplish such a thing." In addition, Kolker speculates, the children may have assuaged an abiding feeling of abandonment, including by a husband more focused on his career than his family. Mimi was a perfectionist who controlled every aspect of the children's lives: chores, enriching after-school activities, and feelings, which she believed should best be repressed. Insisting that they were raising a model family, the Galvins refused to acknowledge problems, such as violent fights among the older brothers, which the parents dismissed as merely roughhousing. The other brothers felt lost, ignored, "less than safe, treated like a number and not a person." The eldest, Donald, was the first to exhibit signs of schizophrenia, with bizarre behavior that repeatedly landed him in mental hospitals; soon, five brothers followed, all with the same diagnosis, manifested somewhat differently, including sibling sexual abuse. Meanwhile, Mimi pretended everything was normal--until she could not hide the family's suffering. With each diagnosis, "she became more of a prisoner--confined by secrets, paralyzed by the power that the stigma of mental illness held over her." Kolker deftly follows the psychiatric, chemical, and biological theories proposed to explain schizophrenia and the various treatments foisted upon the brothers. Most poignantly, he portrays the impact on the unafflicted children of the brothers' illness, an oppressive emotional atmosphere, and the family's festering secrets. By the 1980s, the Galvins became subjects of researchers investigating a genetic basis for the illness; those extensive medical records inform this compelling tale. A family portrait of astounding depth and empathy.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from February 24, 2020
        Journalist Kolker (Lost Girls) delivers a powerful look at schizophrenia and the quest to understand it. He focuses on a much-studied case: that of Colorado couple Don and Mimi Galvin’s 12 children, born between 1945 and 1965, six of whom were diagnosed with the illness. Drawing on extensive interviews with family members and close acquaintances, he creates a taut and often heartbreaking narrative of the Galvins’ travails, which included a murder-suicide and sexual abuse. Their story also allows Kolker to convey how ideas about schizophrenia’s cause changed over the 20th century, from theories blaming controlling and emotionally repressive mothers (a type epitomized by Mimi Galvin) to views of the disease as biologically determined—a hypothesis researchers hoped to use the family to substantiate. In one especially moving passage, Kolker catches up in 2017 with one of the Galvin girls’ daughters in college, where she is interning in a neuroscience lab with hopes of researching schizophrenia. Kolker concludes that while “biology is destiny, to a point,” everyone is “a product of the people who surround us—the people we’re forced to grow up with, and the people we choose to be with later.” This is a haunting and memorable look at the impact of mental illness on multiple generations.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        Starred review from March 1, 2020

        Delving into the mysterious roots of a misunderstood condition, Kolker (Lost Girls) tells the story of the Galvin family, who lived on Hidden Valley Road, and their role in a scientific discovery. Kolker describes how, after discovering that six of the 12 Galvin children were diagnosed with schizophrenia, medical researchers began collecting their genetic material in hopes of determining the biology of the disease. The Galvin clan comes alive in Kolker's eloquent telling: distant parents Don and Mimi, who wanted to be seen as a model military family; the six affected sons, many of whom spent time in and out of mental hospitals; and two daughters, who were all but abandoned by their parents. Alternating chapters movingly detail the family's tragedy and despair, including the ways the illness manifests, along with the study of illness as a science in order to determine its genetic makeup. Throughout, Kolker effectively shows how illness impacts each relative, especially those who live alongside it. VERDICT Kolker masterfully combines scientific intrigue with biographical sketches, allowing readers to feel as if they are right there with the Galvins as researchers examine their genes in the quest for answers.--Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from February 15, 2020
        Best-selling, award-winning journalist Kolker (Lost Girls, 2013) takes a bracing look at the history of the diagnosis and treatment of schizophrenia by exploring the staggering tragedies of the Galvin family. In this stunning, riveting chronicle crackling with intelligence and empathy, he recounts how, during the 1970s, six of the dozen Galvin children were diagnosed as schizophrenic, each suffering varying degrees of violence and horror associated with that illness. Through copious interviews and extensive research, Kolker is able to bring readers into the family's seemingly perfect middle-class life. With a determinedly busy and blissfully distracted father (his obsession with falconry was often more important to him than his children) and a hyperfocused mother firmly attached to her domestic ideals, the environment was rife for secrets and hidden abuse. Amidst detailed descriptions of sibling rivalries and fights that terrorized the younger children, Kolker illustrates how the Galvins fell to pieces. Into this gripping personal tale he weaves the larger history of schizophrenia research and how the family eventually came to the attention of scientists striving to find a cure. Kolker tackles this extraordinarily complex story so brilliantly and effectively that readers will be swept away. An exceptional, unforgettable, and significant work that must not be missed.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

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OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
ONE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL TOP TEN BOOKS OF THE YEAR
PEOPLE'S #1 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
Named a BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, TIME, SlateSmithsonian, and Amazon 

The heartrending story of a midcentury American family with twelve children, six of them diagnosed with schizophrenia, that became science's great hope in the quest to understand the disease.

Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don's work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins—aspiration,...
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Inside the Mind of an American Family
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group