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2004 Winners Announced!

The Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties


The distinguished sociologist Irving Louis Horowitz and syndicated columnist Jacob Sullum are the winners of 2004 Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties.

Irving Louis Horowitz, winner of the professional award, is Hannah Arendt University Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Political Science at Rutgers University. Over the past several decades Horowitz has worked to develop a political sociology that can measure the extent of a society's personal freedom and State-sanctioned violence. As a result of his work, a standard for the quality of life in any particular nation or social system has been constructed based on the number of people arbitrarily killed, maimed, injured, incarcerated, or deprived of basic civil liberties. Horowitz has tried to build a bridge between his current analysis of State power and authority and his earlier studies of comparative international stratification and development. He is recognized as the individual who introduced the phrase "Third World" into the lexicon of social research.

Horowitz is the founder of Studies in Comparative International Development-now in its 40th year. He is also chairman of Transaction-Aldine Publishers. From 1962 to 1969, Horowitz was professor of sociology at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also been a visiting professor at Stanford University, the University of Wisconsin, Queen's University in Canada, and the University of California, and a Fulbright Lecturer in Argentina, Israel, and India. He is a prolific author. Among his most recent books are Tributes: An Informal History of Social Science in the Twentieth Century; Taking Lives: Genocide and State Power, in its fifth edition; and Behemoth: The History and Theory of Political Sociology.

Jacob Sullum, winner of the general award, is a senior editor at REASON magazine and writes a column distributed by Creators Syndicate to newspapers throughout country, including the New York Post, The Washington Times, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His articles also have appeared in Cigar Aficionado, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and many other publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television programs.

Sullum's work relentlessly defends the rights of consenting adults to consume even potentially harmful products, such as drugs and tobacco. He is a consistent champion of all civil and economic liberties. Sullum is most recently the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use, which refutes the idea that certain intoxicants must be banned because, unlike alcohol, they cannot be used responsibly. His previous book, For Your Own Good: The Anti-Smoking Crusade and the Tyranny of Public Health unmasks the anti-freedom agenda of those who would legally harass people who choose to smoke.

Click here for pictures from the awards ceremony, held at the home of Andrea and Howie Rich, in New York city, on Saturday, October 30, 2004.

The professional award is given to a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or sociologist, who has drawn particular attention to abuses of civil liberties. The general award is given annually to a journalist or activist who has done exceptional work to promote the importance of civil liberties. The winners each receive a plaque and $1,000.

Past winners include anti-affirmative-action activist Ward Connerly, First Amendment journalist Nat Hentoff, computer-privacy champion Phil Zimmermann, author James Bovard, William Mellor and Clint Bolick of the Institute for Justice, law professor Richard Epstein, development economist Peter Bauer, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, and Second Amendment scholar David Kopel.

Click here for more information about past winners.

The Thomas S. Szasz Award is a tribute conferred annually in the general and professional categories on persons or organizations, American or foreign, judged to have contributed in an outstanding degree to the cause of civil liberty. The award is intended to encourage civil libertarians to persevere in the battle to protect personal autonomy from state encroachment. The greatest encouragement, however, may be found in the life of Thomas Szasz himself.

For almost five decades, Szasz has distinguished himself as the preeminent defender of individual rights in the fields of psychiatry and psychology. He has remained a steadfast champion of the classical-liberal values of voluntary interaction, the rule of law, and an open society. His struggle on behalf of civil liberties has been indefatigable, sustained despite intense opposition over a lifetime of brilliant intellectual accomplishment.

Emeritus professor of psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center/Syracuse, Szasz is the author of some 25 books, hundreds of scholarly articles, and a regular column in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. His most recent volumes are Words to the Wise: A Medical-Philosophical Dictionary and Faith in Freedom: Libertarian Principles and Psychiatric Practices, both published by Transaction-Aldine Publishers.

His other books include The Myth of Mental Illness; The Therapeutic State; Ceremonial Chemistry: The Ritual Persecution of Drugs, Addicts and Pushers; Insanity: The Idea and It's Consequences; Cruel Compassion: Psychiatric Control of Society's Unwanted; Fatal Freedom: The Ethics and Politics of Suicide; Pharmacracy: Medicine and Politics in America; and Liberation by Oppression: A Comparative Study of Slavery and Psychiatry

The Thomas S. Szasz Award is a project of the Center for Independent Thought.

Click here for books by and about Thomas Szasz


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