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Dark Paradise

Dark Paradise

A History of Opiate Addiction in America

David T. Courtwright

ISBN 9780674005853

Publication date: 05/31/2001

In a newly enlarged edition of this eye-opening book, David T. Courtwright offers an original interpretation of a puzzling chapter in American social and medical history: the dramatic change in the pattern of opiate addiction--from respectable upper-class matrons to lower-class urban males, often with a criminal record. Challenging the prevailing view that the shift resulted from harsh new laws, Courtwright shows that the crucial role was played by the medical rather than the legal profession.

Dark Paradise tells the story not only from the standpoint of legal and medical sources, but also from the perspective of addicts themselves. With the addition of a new introduction and two new chapters on heroin addiction and treatment since 1940, Courtwright has updated this compelling work of social history for the present crisis of the Drug War.

Praise

  • [An] impeccably literate and acute analysis...One of the major themes of this book is that 'what we think about addiction very much depends on who is addicted.' This view is convincingly supported in a historical review that is both absorbing to read and extremely relevant to a general understanding of the social forces connected with opiate use.

    —Martin Plant, British Medical Journal

Author

  • David T. Courtwright is Presidential Professor Emeritus at the University of North Florida and the author of Dark Paradise: A History of Opiate Addiction in America and Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (both from Harvard). He was an inaugural recipient of a grant from the highly competitive NEH Public Scholar Program and is a regular media commentator on the history of addiction.

Book Details

  • 352 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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