The Cult of Pharmacology
How America Became the World's Most Troubled Drug Culture
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Duke University Press
FROM THE EROWID REVIEW #
- Review by S Thyssen, 2009 Jul 10
An examination of America's legacy of vilifying some substances and deifying others. In an exhaustive series of well-referenced examples, the author updates the concept, discussing recent developments such as congressional hearings on tobacco and the troubling state of the antidepressant industry. He explores how the reputation of a drug, as well as its effects, are often heavily dependent on contextual factors distinct from its pharmacological action.. . . (more)
BLURBS #"Every decade or two a book comes along that causes a fundamental shift of gaze. Richard DeGrandpre's The Cult of Pharmacology is one. It pulls apart the mythic powers we have attributed to drugs, showing that drug effects are not the products of mere molecules alone but of the deeply politicized meanings inscribed upon them by society which shape how they are used. This book charts a new course beyond the repressive excesses and costly failures of punitive prohibition. It will make fascinating reading for citizens concerned with drug use and drug problems; it should be required reading for policymakers."
-- Craig Reinarman, coeditor of Crack in America and coauthor of Cocaine Changes
"The Cult of Pharmacology brings badly needed information, insight, and--above all--sanity to the emotionally charged debate over legal and illegal drugs in America, whether LSD, caffeine, or Prozac. This book should be required reading for those whose lives are touched by the war on drugs--which of course means all of us."
-- John Horgan, author of The End of Science, The Undiscovered Mind, and Rational Mysticism
"Those coming to this book with preconceptions should divest them before starting, or at least try to remain calm. Those who think a book on the role drugs play in our culture cannot possibly surprise them are likely to discover preconceptions they never suspected. This is one of the best books to read if you are coming new to the problems that drugs pose, and also one of the best books for those who think they know everything there is to know about drugs. This is a wonderful book."
-- David Healy, author of Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression