"'Sybil' is part of a long American parade of books about psychologically distressed women, preceded in the 1960s by 'I Never Promised You a Rose Garden' and 'The Bell Jar'..."
It was a remarkable story — and at this moment of Women’s Lib and changing gender roles, an oddly relatable one: somehow of a piece with 'The Exorcist,' released the same year, and that bonkers Enjoli perfume commercial with a spokesmodel bringing home the bacon, frying it up in a pan and never letting you forget you were a man....
Yes, the 70s were bonkers. Easy enough to see in retrospect. The trick — as Jacobs clearly says — is knowing what's bonkers in your own time.
I remember the "Sybil" craze of the 70s. I didn't read the book but I saw the TV movie. It allowed nice people to consume a sexual torture story and to believe that they cared quite seriously about mental health (and to marvel at the acting skill of Sally Field (as we once marveled at Joanne Woodward in "The 3 Faces of Eve")).