cover image Addict Nation: An Intervention for America

Addict Nation: An Intervention for America

Jane Velez-Mitchell, with Sandra Mohr, HCI, $24.95 (340p) ISBN 978-0-7573-1545-9

Velez-Mitchell (iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life) condemns addictions to crime, celebrity, food, technology, sex, and other things in the same no-holds-barred style of her popular television show. The author targets anyone dependent on or devoted to such disparate dysfunctions as obsessive cleanliness, sexual exploitation, prescription drugs, the need to overpopulate, and technology. Drawing from her own life, the author illuminates how the government, private sector, and media (she never slips into irony) justify, romanticize, and promote addictions—essentially becoming "pushers." Each chapter focuses on an addiction and begins with an anecdote either personal or popular before shifting into intervention mode. The woman knows her facts, and her text is stuffed with statistics and anecdotes, but a few of her ideas, and her condescending tone, may turn some readers off. "Gay is the new green" proclaims the openly lesbian author in a chapter on "breeders" (addicted to procreation), and she lays guilt on non-vegans. Velez-Mitchell's intentions are equally admirable and suspect; the authority she so boldly assumes comes not from a degree or years of casework but from personal history and TV. (Feb.)