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Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement Paperback – 31 Mar 1997

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 426 pages
  • Publisher: Syracuse University Press; New edition edition (31 Mar. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0815604610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0815604617
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.3 x 20.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 814,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

In this seminal work, Dr. Szasz examines the similarities between the Inquisition and institutional psychiatry. His purpose is to show 'that the belief in mental illness and the social actions to which it leads have the same moral implications and political consequences as had the belief in witchcraft and the social actions to which it led.'

About the Author

Thomas Szasz (1920-2012) was professor of psychiatry emeritus at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York and adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, DC. He was a prominent figure in the anti-psychiatry movement and a critic of the moral and scientific foundation of psychiatry.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Szasz's classic work takes a critical look at the social definition of mental illness and compares it to the medieval witch crazes. The book outraged the psychiatric profession in its time, but Szasz's analysis has not lost any of its potency or accuracy, and moral questions about mental illness / sanity are no less vital to contemporary society. Essential reading for anyone in the caring professions.
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Format: Paperback
A mint book showing what the institution of psychiatry has inherited from the inquistion and ultimately about the metanarrative of the systematic oppression and subjugation of the few by the many in human history. Unsurprisingly, Szasz has been treated like a secular heretic by many of the obscurants in the Psychiatric establishment for this and many other works.

He cogently reasons that in our age of strange transpositions and inversions, mostly unwitting malefactors delude themselves that they are the benefactors of those arbitrairily labelled 'the mentally ill' (a term he understands to be something of a misnomer and oppressive and dehumanising in its semantics and commonly held association with inferiority) by a society all too quick to stigmatise and pathologise those who don't observe the proprieties of their particular society.

In a society where at least a subset of the population love to pillory, stigmatise and mercilessly torment people based on the flimsiest of pretexts, the whole oppresive nomenclature of psychiatry, along with its apparatus and practitioners, need to be questioned. As Szasz says, 'words have a life of their own' (or was it George Formby?).

To paraphrase a character in Luis Bunuel's great film 'the Phantom of Liberty', our values and beliefs are relative and not absolute, and nowhere is this more relevant a basic truth regarding current attitudes amongst laypeople and the axioms of psychiatry that are flaunted as if they were absolute truths. Yet no one is a more redoubtable opponent than a psychiatrist who, in his/her insitutionalised irrationality, actually believes in the rightness of their own nonsense.

This was mint.
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Format: Hardcover
Szasz's classic work takes a critical look at the social definition of mental illness and compares it to the medieval witch crazes. The book outraged the psychiatric profession in its time, but Szasz's analysis has not lost any of its potency or accuracy, and moral questions about mental illness / sanity are no less vital to contemporary society. Essential reading for anyone in the caring professions.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This a book that HAS TO BE READ . Szasz presents his case with impeccable precision. The fraud that is modern
psychiatry is totally and utterly exposed. The comparison of the exact mechanism of the inquisition and it's parallel
in institutional psychiatric intervention is illustrated with astonishing accuracy. This book should be made a part of every school curriculum Get it and read it- your future may depend on it!
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