This book is a very good read, although the topic and size of it may not at first compel you to pick it up. Scull is an expert in what is know about madness throughout history. He starts by going through the earliest written record of mad people, right up to modern day definitions and practises.
The book is full of fascinating stories of people and doctors who developed psychiatry. Treatments vary from the sadistic to the ingenious and are an eye opener to the medical profession.
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this field, madness is a fascinating topic. Even now, it seems no one can define madness. Well worth reading by lay people, Scull has a very approachable writing style and can tell a good story.