He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him by Mimi Baird with Eve Claxton

Mimi Baird embarks on a journey to learn why her father, Dr. Perry Baird quite literally disappeared from his daughter’s life in the mid-1940s. Dr. Baird was, by all accounts, a brilliant doctor and an up-and-coming researcher whose groundbreaking study into manic depression was abruptly halted due to his own suffering with the disease. Dr. Baird had been removed from his family while Mimi and her younger sister were quite young; the girls were not given a complete explanation as to what happened to their father for several decades. While Mimi attempted to readjust to a life without her father and the mystery surrounding him, Dr. Baird was institutionalized multiple times due to his uncontrollable manic depression. During his many hospitalizations, Dr. Baird kept a written account of his personal experiences with his disease, the treatments he endured which are now considered barbaric, and mourned the loss of every aspect of his life.
Sadly, Dr. Baird received a lobotomy as a final attempt to treat his mania and later died of a subsequent seizure. His writings and contributions to medical research went unrecognized by virtually everyone for decades until Mimi, through a series of incredible circumstances, became acquainted with her father’s former colleagues which led to recovering his long-lost manuscript.
The first half of He Wanted the Moon is told in Dr. Baird’s words from his manuscript, interspersed with Dr. Baird’s medical reports. Mimi Baird completes the latter half of the book detailing what her life was like with the sudden disappearance of her father, her journey to learning who he was, interviewing family members who were silent on the subject and her desire for her father to receive the credit he was due for his research.
He Wanted the Moon is a raw account of Dr. Baird’s mental illness; but yet somewhat devoid of emotion. The reader may get the sense that both Dr. Baird and Mimi Baird are both stoic figures and yet, they both do not varnish the truth. It’s a heart-wrenching tale which deserves a wide audience.

He Wanted the Moon: The Madness and Medical Genius of Dr. Perry Baird, and His Daughter’s Quest to Know Him by Mimi Baird with Eve Claxton Purchase Links: Hardcover, Kindle Edition

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