Books: At the Frontal Lobe

GOING CRAZY: An Inquiry into

Madness in Our Time

by OTTO FRIEDRICH 384 pages. Simon & Schuster. $9.95.

Otto Friedrich is a writer who has specialized in chronicling collapses. Decline and Fall was a revealing autopsy of the late Saturday Evening Post. Before the Deluge recaptured the dying phosphorescence of the Weimar Republic. Now he looks at the psychological walking wounded about him and concludes that "madness is part of all of us, all the time, that it comes and goes, waxes and wanes." His book is an artful patchwork of historical vignettes, autobiography and interviews with articulate people who have returned to tell...