"No one has exposed the oppressive medicalization of human conflict and politicization of medicine as thoroughly and radically as Thomas Szasz. With this superb collection, the essence of Szasz’s case against the Therapeutic State is now accessible to everyone. Liberty and autonomy have their most able defender in Thomas Szasz."—Sheldon Richman, Editor, The Freeman
"It takes an iconoclast with temerity and acumen to illuminate how unexamined myths and metaphors insidiously determine prevailing norms—norms considered unassailable and sacrosanct by the established medical/legal system. For decades, Thomas Szasz has publicly challenged the excesses that obscure reason. The Medicalization of Everyday Life offers a no-nonsense perspective on contemporary dogma. Required reading for all professionals in health care fields, and all those who are subject to their unwitting prejudices."—Jeffrey K. Zeig, Director, The Milton Erickson Foundation
This collection of impassioned essays, published between 1973 and 2006, chronicles Thomas Szasz’s long campaign against the orthodoxies of “pharmacracy,” that is, the alliance of medicine and the state. From “Diagnoses Are Not Diseases” to “The Existential Identity Thief,” “Fatal Temptation,” and “Killing as Therapy,” the book delves into the complex evolution of medicalization, concluding with “Pharmacracy: The New Despotism.” In practice, society must draw a line between what counts as medical practice and what does not. Where it draws that line goes far in defining the kinds of laws its citizens live under, the kinds of medical care they receive, and the kinds of lives they are allowed to live.
Thomas Szasz is professor emeritus of psychiatry at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, New York. His books include Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry, The Manufacture of Madness, Ideology and Insanity, Our Right to Drugs, The Myth of Psychotherapy, and Pharmacracy, all published by Syracuse University Press.