Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1412810500
ISBN-10: 1412810507
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy new
$28.04
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
List Price: $30.95 Save: $2.91 (9%)
16 New from $22.50
Qty:1
Coercion as Cure: A Criti... has been added to your Cart
More Buying Choices
16 New from $22.50 13 Used from $35.81
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$28.04 FREE Shipping. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry
  • +
  • The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct
  • +
  • Psychiatry: The Science of Lies
Total price: $58.07
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Szasz marshals the evidence and lays out the history and current practice of psychiatric oppression as the most grievous remaining violation of freedom, liberty and tolerance…. For clear perspective and understanding it is important to know some history, and in terms of the history of psychiatry, Coercion as Cure is a great gift.”

Canadian Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences

"A powerful and fittingly impassioned indictment of psychiatrists who use coercion to 'treat' patients by the psychiatrist who has done more than anyone else to challenge psychiatry to abandon the destructive use of force and replace it with consent, trust, and adherence to the Hippocratic injunction to do no harm."

George J. Annas, professor of health law, bioethics, and human rights, Boston University Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Law

"Nearly all books on the history of psychiatry have been written by people who wholeheartedly believe in the reality of 'mental illness.' At long last we have a history of psychiatry by the very man who nearly fifty years ago declared mental illness to be a myth. Stripping away centuries of self-serving propaganda written by psychiatry's acolytes, Dr. Thomas Szasz gives us a radically new look at the history of the world's most dangerous political religions. From the eighteenth century's 'trade in lunacy' to the nineteenth century's 'insane asylums' to the twentieth century's 'snake pits' to the twenty-first century's 'outpatient commitment,' Szasz gives us a radically different perspective on the major episodes in the history of psychiatry. After Coercion as Cure, we will never be able to look at psychiatry again as a legitimate claimant to the throne of medical science."

Keith Hoeller, editor, Review of Existential Psychology & Psychiatry

"Bit by barbarous and bizarre' bit, Thomas Szasz dismantles psychiatry's rickety scaffolding, exposing over two centuries of physical torture and tortured logic. Professor Szasz takes the necessary analytical and empirical solvents to this state-empowered fraternity of sercereres. He also supplies the only salve for the psychiatric violence he correctly dubs 'psychiatric slavery': abolition: Now, 'Let the sunshine in.'"

—Ilana Mercer, libertarian columnist and writer, WorldNetDaily.com

"Thomas Szasz (Professor of Psychiatry emeritus, State University of New York) presents Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry, a stinging indictment that dares to question conventional beliefs, and deconstructs modern psychiatry itself, arguing that it has no right to be dubbed a medical science. Coercion as Cure takes its title from Szasz's observation that the defining features of psychiatry is its use of force-though sometimes psychiatrists deal with voluntary patients, all too often psychiatrists "diagnose" and "treat" people without their consent or against their clearly expressed wishes. "The psychiatrist's basic social mandate is the coercive-paternalistic protection of the mental patient from himself and the public from the mental patient. Yet, in the professional literature as well as the popular media, this is the least noted feature of psychiatry as a medical specialty...It would be difficult to exaggerate the extent to which historians of psychiatry as well as mental health professionals and journalists ignore, deny, and rationalize the involuntary, coerced, forcibly imposed nature of psychiatric treatments." A harchly critical assessment of the modern psychiatric medical system."

—The Midwest Book Review

From the Publisher

This is the most important book on psychiatry and mental illness by Szasz since his landmark The Myth of Mental Illness. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 293 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (December 31, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412810507
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412810500
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
100%
4 star
0%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 7 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Coercion as Cure is a history of psychiatry through the prism of Dr. Szasz' views, convictions, and moral arguments. The particular advantage of this book is the fact that Dr. Szasz has not only been observing the development of psychiatry for the last 60 years, but actively participated in the events.

The book is well researched and referenced, the writing style is gripping, and the material is organized reasonably well. There is a large amount of factual historical information, e.g., almost a page-long quotation from President Franklin Pierce's veto on p. 97 is truly remarkable, as well as Cerletti's descriptions of the ECT "discovery" on pp. 129-132.
Overall, I found the book to be well balanced between the presented facts and the author's polemic.

You will not find consistent logical explanations of Dr. Szasz' views on mental illness and modern psychiatry in Coercion as Cure (which would be clearly beyond the scope of the book), but the book is, naturally, based on those views. If you are new to Dr. Szasz' writing, it probably makes more sense for you to start with some of his earlier books, familiarize yourself with the main concepts, and then read Coercion as Cure.
If, on the other hand, you know Dr. Szasz' work and arguments, you will certainly enjoy reading this book.
Comment 23 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everyone should read this book! I have read a number of Dr. Szasz's other books (also highly recommended). In this book he debunks the myth that psychiatry is a legitimate medical science and exposes it for what it is by tracing its history of patient abuse. After reading this book and looking at the many advertisements for psychiatric drugs that I see on TV and in women's magazines, I realized that the current psychiatric drug machine is just part of the history of psychiatry inventing "cures" that don't work and then moving on to other "cures" that don't work. This is especially true for the captives in psychiatric institutions.

I would advise any potential student of psychiatry to read this book critically and consider what it says -- hopefully before enrolling in a medical school. Also, any existing or potential psychiatric patient would find this book enlightening. After reading this book I also question the use of psychiatry in courts and I would question the rights of judges to sentence people to psychiatric "treatment" or even evaluation. Based on the contents of this book, psychiatric "treatment" should be considered a violation of the cruel and unusual punishment clause in the Constitution of the United States.
1 Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Thomas Szasz (Professor of Psychiatry emeritus, State University of New York) presents Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry, a stinging indictment that dares to question conventional beliefs, and deconstructs modern psychiatry itself, arguing that it has no right to be dubbed a medical science. Coercion as Cure takes its title from Szasz's observation that the defining features of psychiatry is its use of force - though sometimes psychiatrists deal with voluntary patients, all too often psychiatrists "diagnose" and "treat" people without their consent or against their clearly expressed wishes. "The psychiatrist's basic social mandate is the coercive-paternalistic protection of the mental patient from himself and the public from the mental patient. Yet, in the professional literature as well as the popular media, this is the least noted feature of psychiatry as a medical specialty... It would be difficult to exaggerate the extent to which historians of psychiatry as well as mental health professionals and journalists ignore, deny, and rationalize the involuntary, coerced, forcibly imposed nature of psychiatric treatments." A harshly critical assessment of the modern psychiatric medical system.
Comment 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In my opinion, Coercion as Cure is not only Dr. Szasz's most important book, it is also one of the most important books dealing with psychiatric issues - ever.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Coercion as Cure: A Critical History of Psychiatry