- Narrated by: Chanté McCormick
- Length: 2 hrs and 14 mins
- Release date: 05-31-22
Doctor Ice Pick By Claire Prentice AudioBook Summary
A haunting and true short story of the lobotomist who cut a brutal swathe through the lives of thousands of vulnerable Americans from the author of Miracle at Coney Island.
In July 1952, Dr. Walter Freeman arrived at the gates of a West Virginia asylum. In his medical bag he carried two metal picks and a surgical hammer. He had invented a “cheap, easy” ten-minute lobotomy. The press described it as a miracle cure, a new frontier in psychosurgery.
That summer, in just twelve days, Freeman lobotomized 228 men, women, and children in West Virginia’s public mental hospitals. His blitzkrieg of brain surgery became known as “Operation Ice Pick,” named after the tools he wielded.
To some, the doctor was a hero, solving the crisis facing the nation’s underfunded and overcrowded psychiatric institutions. But many who watched him operate saw a dangerous risk-taker, a showman and a charlatan. This is the true story of a scientific pioneer whose misguided quest created one of the biggest tragedies in American medical history.