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Sybil Exposed The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple-Person Ality Case

Scribe, November 2011
Softcover, 300 pages
23cm × 15.2cm

The compelling true story of the three women (a Manhattan psychiatrist, a glamorous magazine writer, and a troubled young woman) behind the psychology case that shook the world.

In the 1950s, Sybil Dorsett, a young woman from a tiny Midwest town, was diagnosed with a new psychiatric condition - multiple personality disorder. Sybil was believed to have 16 separate personalities living within her: from aspiring carpenter Mike to intensely religious Nancy; from impertinent schoolgirls Peggy Lou and Peggy Ann to depressed grandmother Mary; from whimpering toddler Ruthie to the bookish, highly critical Clara.

In this groundbreaking book, journalist Debbie Nathan reveals, for the first time, that the Sybil case was an elaborate fraud - albeit one that the perpetrators may have half-believed. Nathan follows an enormous trail of papers, records, photos, and tapes to show that what really powered the legend was a trio of women who together spun their story into bestseller gold. The result is an intensely fascinating portrait of a pop-culture phenomenon and the complex psychological factors that primed the world to receive it.