Defining ""medicalization"" as the perception of nonmedical conditions as medical problems and nondiseases as diseases, Thomas Szasz has devoted much of his career to exposing the dangers of ""medicalizing"" the conditions of some who simply refuse to conform to society's expectations. Szasz argues that modern psychiatry's tireless ambition to explain the human condition has led to the treatment of life's difficulties and oddities as clinical illnesses rather than as humanity revealed in its fullness. This collection of impassioned essays, published between 1973 and 2006, chronicles the author's long campaign against the orthodoxies of psychiatry. From ""Medicine to Magic"" to ""Medicine as Social Control,"" the book delves into the fascinating history of medicalization, including ""The Discovery of Drug Addiction,"" ""Persecutions for Witchcraft and Drugcraft,"" and ""Food Abuse and Foodaholism."" In a society that has little tolerance for those who live outside its rules, Dr. Szasz's writings are as relevant today as ever.
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.