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Books - Best Cure For Mental Illness

This is the fourteenth post of the series 'LegalTrek'. This post is about Irving Stone and his biographical novels. The last post was 'Prejudice - The Womb Of Injustice'.


Sports or science was my world till graduation but it all changed when I joined law. I became interested in other disciplines as well: one was psychology that led to interest in Sigmund Freud. When I was reading about him, I came across his biography 'The Passions of the Mind'. I enjoyed reading it. This led to its writer - Irving Stone.

Stone was born on 14th July 1903 and was still alive by the time I got interested in him. He died on 26th August 1989. He was know for his biographical novels. While doing my law, I read many biographies and Stone became the favourite writer. 

I read his first 'Lust for Life' based on the life of Vincent van Gogh. The title of this post is in fact a paraphrase of a quote from this book,
'I do not know a better cure for mental illness than a book.'
His most famous novel is 'The Agony and the Ecstasy' based on the life of Michelangelo. 

The others biographies written by him that that I enjoyed reading are 'Love is Eternal' a novel based on the marriage of Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd,'They Also Ran' an  analysis of candidates who were defeated for U.S. President and 'The Origin' a novel based on the life of Charles Darwin. 

The year 2009 was bicentennial birth anniversary of Charles Darwin and 150th year since publication of 'On the Origin of Species'. In this year I gave talks at various places titled 'GODS ARE DREAMS OF MEN' as a tribute to Darwin. It was about Darwin, his theory of evolution, its conflict with creationism and the legal cases that dealt with his conflict. The novel 'The Origin' was an important source for the talk. 

'Clarence Darrow For the Defense' is another biographical novel by Irving Stone that I liked. It is biography of Clarence Darrow, the most famous US trial court lawyer by the end of nineteenth century. He was just before Samuel Leibowitz, whose biography 'Courtroom' was discussed in the previous few posts. We will talk about in the next post

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