Cover Image: Money, Marriage, and Madness

Money, Marriage, and Madness

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Member Reviews

With all of the recent focus on women's history and how the efforts of so many brilliant women were wasted and ignored, how have I never heard of Anna Ott?  Kim E Nielson introduces us to a woman whose contributions to her community and her science could have been so much more if she had been born 100 years later.  

So many younger women can not believe what history has shown them of the treatment given to any woman who dared exhibit talents and skills that could threaten the men surrounding her.  Dr Ott's life can serve to reinforce the many periods of history that she struggled through to finally end in a mental institution when she questioned the system that kept her "in her place".  Ms Nielsen has written her story with such feeling that you immediately are angry at the men in Dr Ott's life.  This is truly an excellent read and an excellent trip through a period in American history that bears witness to the progress we have made.
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*Many thanks to Kim E. Nielsen, University of Illinois Press, and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*
A superbly researched book on the life of a woman who showed ambition and strength in the mid-19th century America, and who became a patient in an asylum by her second husband owing to alleged claims of insanity. Dr Ott's life showed how difficult it was for a woman to pursue a passion and take up economic enterprises. 
I truly appreciate the effort Ms Nielsen put into writing this non-ficiton given how scant the information was.
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Yet another woman’s life rescued from undeserved obscurity. I’d never heard of Anna Ott and I wager that not many other people have either. But what a life hers was. Highly educated, she was the first female doctor in Madison, Wisconsin, but her personal life went horribly wrong and she ended up being institutionalised. This is a truly fascinating book on so many levels – women’s personal and professional lives, social mores and preconceptions, the medical profession, treatment of the mentally ill, marriage and the patriarchy. It’s a great read for anyone interested in social history, women’s and gender studies, or just those who want to learn about one woman’s life.
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I had never heard of the subject of this book before, but that did not take away at all from my enjoyment of it - in fact, it probably helped, because I had no prior knowledge or expectations for what was about to unfold. 

The book is extremely well researched in my opinion, and it's a topic that needs to be discussed more widely, so I am glad that this book is here to add to the conversation. The writing is fantastic too, so combined with the pacing and the research, there's not much to complain about with this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the area of women's rights and feminism, and how this has evolved over the centuries. I was glad to be able to read an advance copy, thanks Netgalley!
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So well written so involving.I had never heard Of Ann Ott the authors research brought her alive had me heartbroken for all she went through.Absolutely terrific read.#netgalley#uofillinoispress
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What an amazing book. I never would have sought it out if I hadn't received an advance copy but I'm so glad I found it. Highly recommended.
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Informative but the writing style was dense, did not flow well, and did not capture my interest. I got bored some time in the second chapter and gave up.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review. 
This is a fascinating book for so many reasons. The author did an amazing amount of research for this book. I wish there were more records of information on Anna Ott to fill in the gaps but it just doesn't seem to exist. Great job to the author for writing this important book.
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I have never heard of Dr Anne Ott but I was given a chance to read her story.  The things she had to go through was heartbreaking.  This is a great biography.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and University of Illinois Press for my honest opinion.
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WOW! Let me double up that WOW! This book packs a punch to the gut. I wanted to scream at Dr Anna Ott, I wanted to scream at the patriarchy, I wanted to scream at her time period, this book takes me through a FLOOD of emotions.
The book is well written, well thought out, and well researched. Like the author notes in the prologue, it was difficult to know exactly what all was going on and what was happening in Dr. Ott's life, but what little evidence there is....is SHOCKING!
I had to put the book down at times because of the violence within. 
This book should be recommended reading for all PEOPLE who are interested in women's rights, the evolution of women's rights, and domestic violence.
Bravo to the author for taking up and researching this difficult and elusive subject!
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Nielsen's book provides a really honest and well-written example of the strengths and weaknesses of being an intelligent, independent, and ambitious woman in the 19th century. Her story is not surprising, but it is and Nielsen's prose is both refreshing and brutal. I think the format of the book and its way of telling the story accentuates Ott's experiences and also allows the reader to see how horrible the system was at the time.
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