In a study of nearly 7000 suicides from 1900 to 1950, John Weaver documents the challenges that ordinary people experienced during turbulent times and, using witnesses' testimony, death bed statements, and suicide notes, reconstructs individuals' thoughts as they decide whether to endure their suffering. Bridging social and medical history, Weaver presents an intellectual and political history of suicide studies, a revealing construction and deconstruction of suicide rates, a discussion of gender, life stages, and socio-economic circumstances in relation to suicide patterns, reflections on reasoning processes and intent, and society's reactions to suicide, including medical intervention.
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