In November of 1992, New York's Chief Judge Sol Wachtler, an heir aparent to the governor's mansion, was arrested. He was charged and convicted for a humiliating crime stemming from his manic, obsessive harassment of his former mistress. A prominent New York socialite, the woman happened to be pals with the director of the FBI. Recorded conversations of the judge's threatening phone calls made for an open and shut case and sent the judge to federal prison for a 15-month stint. In After the Madness, the fallen jurist has created a confessional diary that chronicles his prison term. Stories of inmates are interspliced with prison reform recommendations and brief reflections on his crime. He also describes his "illness" and eventual diagnosis as manic-depressive, his incredible appetite (and ability!) to "self- medicate" at the rate of 5,000 pills in an 18-month period while serving on the bench, and the path he has taken to rebuild his name and career. The degree of hubris and the catastrophic fall give this story a classical dimension; the emphasis on psychiatry and self-esteem mark it as a product of our times.