Thomas Szasz wrote over thirty books and several hundred articles, replete with mordant criticism of psychiatry, in both scientific and popular periodicals. His works made him arguably one of the world's most recognized psychiatrists, albeit one of the most controversial.
These writings have been translated into several languages and have earned him a worldwide following. Szasz was a man of towering intellect, sweeping historical knowledge, and deep-rooted, mostly libertarian, philosophical beliefs. He wrote with a lucid and acerbic wit, but usually in a way that is accessible to general readers. His books cautioned against the indiscriminate power of psychiatry in courts and in society, and against the apparent rush to medicalize all human folly. They have
spawned an eponymous ideology that has influenced, to various degrees, laws relating to mental health in several countries and states.
This book critically examines the legacy of Thomas Szasz - a man who challenged the very concept of mental illness and questioned several practices of psychiatrists. The book surveys his many contributions including those in psychoanalysis, which are very often overlooked by his critics. While admiring his seminal contribution to the debate, the book will also point to some of his assertions that merit closer scrutiny. Contributors to the book are drawn from various disciplines, including
Psychiatry, Philosophy and Law; and are from various countries including the United States, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Some contributors knew Thomas Szasz personally and spent many hours with him discussing issues he raised in his books and articles.
The book will be fascinating reading for anyone interested in matters of mental health, human rights, and ethics.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Number of pages: 324
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 234 x 163 x 17 mm
why is it that Szasz continues to intrigue (as well as infuriate) so many? To paraphrase one contributor to this collection, "Szasz asked the right questions, even if he did not always have the right answers." His questions endure and provoke even more questions. This book includes excellent resources and offers equally enduring responses. Thomas Szasz: An Appraisal of his Legacy is highly recommended for practicing and academic and forensic psychiatrists
and for philosophers. * Sharon Packer, Metapsychology Online Reviews *
Silver tarnishes in your china cabinet, whereas scouring and buffing restores its gleam. The editors' decision to take that approach in this collection - tough love, not unconditional love - makes Thomas Szasz: an appraisal of his legacy an important assessment of his thought. It deserves to be read, discussed, and debated widely. * Michael Fontaine, PhD, Mad in America *
For those with an interest in psychiatric theory, the conceptualization of mental illness, and the history of psychiatry, Thomas Szasz: An Appraisal of His Legacy represents a must-read. Undoubtedly, it captures the essence of the man who forever changed the dialogue on mental illness. * Mark L. Ruffalo, D.Psa., L.C.S.W., Psychology Today *
They have compiled an extraordinary group of psychiatrists, philosophers, ethicists, social scientists, researchers, humanists, and forensic experts - many who knew Dr Szasz personally or who had debated him in public or on paper, or both. Yet this edited compilation is not hagiography; instead, it is a penetrating, deep, and intrepid exploration of Szasz's oeuvre, and the indelible impact he has had on the practice of psychiatry, in this country and abroad. * Filippo M. Sposini, History Psychiatry *
For those who knew or read this extraordinary man, your reading Thomas Szasz: An Appraisal of His Legacy will light up your remembrances. For those who barely know him or his work, you will surely be amazed by his contributions. * Lloyd I. Sederer, MD, Psychiatric times *