New Books Network

Keith Wailoo, “Pain: A Political History” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2014)
Is pain real? Is pain relief a right? Who decides? In Pain: A Political History (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014),Keith Wailoo investigates how people have interpreted and judged the suffering of others in the US from the mid-1940s to the present. While doctors and patients figure in his story, the... Read More
Lisa L. Gezon, “Drug Effects: Khat in Biocultural and Socioeconomic Perspective” (Left Coast Press, 2012)
Khat, the fresh leaves of the plant Catha edulis, is a mild psycho-stimulant. It has been consumed in Yemen, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia for over one thousand years. Khat consumption is an important part of Yemeni social and political life. During the early part of the twentieth century, Yemeni dockworkers... Read More
Jeremy A. Greene, “Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine” (Johns Hopkins UP, 2014)
Is there any such thing as a generic drug? Jeremy A, Greene‘s new book Generic: The Unbranding of Modern Medicine (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014) treats its subject matter with a learned skepticism that lets the reader see through the eyes of the historical actors who helped define the modern... Read More
James Martin, “Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs” (Palgrave, 2014)
I am old enough to realise that we have entered a science fiction world in which the old systems of the market place are being sidestepped by new technology. We who follow the tried and true methods are missing out of the brave new world. The changes are particularly true... Read More
Sharon K. Farber, “Hunger for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties” (Aronson, 2013)
It may seem silly to ask why we seek ecstasy. We seek it, of course, because it’s ECSTASY. We are evolved to want it. It’s our brain’s way of saying “Do this again and as often as possible.” But there’s more to it than that. For one thing, there are... Read More
Miriam Kingsberg, “Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History” (University of California Press, 2013)
Miriam Kingsberg‘s fascinating new book offers both a political and social history of modern Japan and a global history of narcotics in the modern world. Moral Nation: Modern Japan and Narcotics in Global History (University of California Press, 2013) locates the emergence of a series of three “moral crusades” against... Read More
Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter, “Thai Stick” (Columbia Press, 2013)
Reading Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter‘s book Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade (Columbia Press, 2013)┬áis the most fun I have had doing this podcast. Maguire makes a point during the interview that police officers preferred to arrest marijuana smugglers because they were so... Read More