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The Three Christs of Ypsilanti (New York Review Books Classics)by Milton Rokeach
Synopses & Reviews
On July 1, 1959, at Ypsilanti State Hospital in Michigan, the social psychologist Milton Rokeach brought together three paranoid schizophrenics: Clyde Benson, an elderly farmer and alcoholic; Joseph Cassel, a failed writer who was institutionalized after increasingly violent behavior toward his family; and Leon Gabor, a college dropout and veteran of World War II.
The men had one thing in common: each believed himself to be Jesus Christ. Their extraordinary meeting and the two years they spent in one another’s company serves as the basis for an investigation into the nature of human identity, belief, and delusion that is poignant, amusing, and at times disturbing. Displaying the sympathy and subtlety of a gifted novelist, Rokeach draws us into the lives of three troubled and profoundly different men who find themselves “confronted with the ultimate contradiction conceivable for human beings: more than one person claiming the same identity.”
About the Author
Milton Rokeach (1918-1988) received his B.A. from Brooklyn College and his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. He was a professor of social psychology at Michigan State University and later at Washington State University. In 1984 he received the Kurt Lewin Memorial Award from The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.
Rick Moody's most recent book is The Four Fingers of Death. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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