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to author and activist, Dix struggled to teach America and the world that even the most helpless members of society deserve to live with dignity. Book jacket. well. Although Dix is best remembered for this public activism, she was also a best-selling author, a natural scientist, and led the Union nurses during the Civil War. Dorothea Dix was a complicated woman whose public effectiveness was often at odds with her personal isolation. In this evenhanded biography, Margaret Muckenhoupt describes Dix's many accomplishments, while creating a portrait of a very real person. From unremarkable beginnings as a strict teacher of needlework and morality "I tell what I have seen!" declared Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) as she explained to the Massachusetts legislature that people with mental illnesses were being caged, beaten, and neglected in the jails and almshouses of the common-wealth. Dix saw a way to change the plight of these "most unfortunate" people. Lobbying throughout the United States and Europe, she helped to create public hospitals for those with mental illnesses, to improve existing facilities, and sought to reform prisons as