This is a fascinating biography of a pioneering crusader who heretofore has been ignored by historians. Popular journalist and author Sapinsley uses family records and an assortment of other primary materials to tell the story of Elizabeth Packard, an otherwise conventional 19th-century wife and mother who was committed to an insane asylum by her husband because of her unorthodox ideas on religion and child-rearing. After winning her freedom in a highly publicized trial, Packard spent the rest of her life lobbying for changes in state laws governing the commitment of individuals to mental institutions. Although geared to general readers, this volume should interest historians as well because it details the sorts of tensions that inspired the fledgling feminists of the same period. Recommended for history and women’s studies collections.