New Books Network

Matthew R. Pembleton, “Containing Addiction: The Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Origins of America’s Global Drug Wars” (University of Massachusetts Press, 2017
It’s common to place the start of the War on Drugs with the Nixon or Reagan Administrations, but as Matthew Pembleton tells us, those are only phases II and III of a much longer drug war that began in the 1930s with the long-forgotten Federal Bureau of Narcotics. In his... Read More
Andrew Lees, “Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment” (Notting Hill Editions, 2017)
Mentored by a Madman: The William Burroughs Experiment (Notting Hill Editions, 2017) is a fascinating account by one of the world’s leading and most decorated neurologists of the profound influence of William Burroughs on his medical career. Dr. Andrew Lees relates how Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch and troubled drug... Read More
Claire D. Clark, “The Recovery Revolution” (Columbia UP, 2017)
Before the 1960s, doctors were generally in control of the treatment of drug addicts. And that made a certain sense, because drug addicts had something that looked a lot like a disease or mental illness. The trouble was that doctors had no effective way to treat drug addiction. Their best... Read More
Michael Muhammad Knight, “Tripping with Allah: Islam, Drugs, and Writing” (Soft Skull Press, 2013)
Michael Muhammed Knight writes this book from a first-person perspective, as a piece of creative non-fiction. The book includes a liberal amount of swearing and sexual references, and Knight’s writing style is raw, sometimes jarring, but smart and sophisticated. Indeed by pushing boundaries, it offers the reader an experience and... Read More
Eugene Raikhel, “Governing Habits: Treating Alcoholism in the Post-Soviet Clinic” (Cornell UP, 2016)
Alcoholism is a strange thing. That it exists, no one seriously doubts. But it’s not entirely clear (diagnostically speaking) what it is, who has it, how they get it, or how to treat it. The answers to these questions depend, apparently, on where you are, which is to say what... Read More
Travis Linnemann, “Meth Wars: Police, Media, Power” (NYU Press, 2016)
If all you knew about methamphetamines came from popular culture (“Breaking Bad”) or government anti-drug campaigns (“Faces of Meth”), then you’d probably think that the typical meth user was a unemployed, rail thin degenerate with bad acne, no teeth and a penchant for child abuse. In these depictions, all meth... Read More
Norman Ohler, “Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017)
Norman Ohler’s Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017) explores the drug culture of Nazi Germany. Far from being a nation of physical and mental purity portrayed by Goebbels’s propaganda machine, Ohler shows Germany was a hub of drug production and abuse during the 1920s. Manufacturers like... Read More