Addicts Who Survived: An Oral History of Narcotic Use in America, 1923-1965

David Courtwright, Author, Don Des Jarlais, Author, Herman Joseph, With University of Tennessee Press $35 (399p) ISBN 978-0-87049-587-8
This comprehensive history of drug addiction in the U.S. by Courtwright, head of the University of Florida's department of history and philosphy, and coauthors Joseph, a sociologist, and social psychologist and AIDS researcher Des Jarlais, offers first-person monologues by 40 addicts whose stories retain each speaker's idiom. The authors distinguish their subjects, all now in their 60s, 70s and 80s, from ``ordinary'' junkies, depicting them as an elite among addicts who survived the so-called ``classic'' period, 1923-1965, of harsh narcotics law enforcement to participate in New York City's mid-'60s (and ongoing) methadone maintenance program. (Thefts and drug trafficking are compared here to a diabetic's ``crime'' of stealing to buy insulin.) Most severe criticism is reserved for what the authors view as inept and corrupt drug policies. This study has much to say to a general audience, as well as those involved in drug control. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
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