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This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
     

This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

by Ryan Grim
 

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Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrong

Stock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy

Overview


Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrong

Stock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music festivals). Along the way, Grim discovers some surprising truths. Did anti-drug campaigns actually encourage more drug use? Did acid really disappear in the early 2000s? And did meth peak years ago? Did our Founding Fathers-or, better yet, their wives-get high just as much as we do?

  • Traces the evolution of United States's long and twisted relationship with drugs
  • Gives surprising answers to questions such as: how did heroin become popular, when did the meth epidemic peak, and has LSD gone the way of Quaaludes
  • Based on solid reporting and wide-ranging research-including surveys, reports, historical accounts, and more

Not since Eric Schlosser ventured underground to marijuana's black market in Reefer Madness has a reporter trained such a keen eye on drugs and culture. A powerful and often shocking history of one of our knottiest social and cultural problems, This is Your Country on Drugs leads you on a profound exploration of what it means to be an American.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Admitting that "so much has been written on drug use and American culture that it would take weeks to roll all of that paper up and smoke it," journalist Grim plunges into the counterculture, the literature, the research, the opposition, the pharmaceutical interests, the media coverage, the kids and users, the heroes and the hypocrites to chart the evolution of drug use in America, covering every illegal high, taking on well-entrenched myths and turning up fascinating stories on current trends-beginning with the end of LSD. Backed by plenty of startling facts (i.e., 1984's drug-related criminal population was 30,000; by 1991 it was more than 150,000), Grim fashions a sharp critique of anti-drug programs ("exposure to anti-drug ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use among certain groups, such as fourteen-to-sixteen year olds and whites") and other policy decisions (President Clinton's approval of NAFTA led to an unprecedented influx of drugs across the Mexican border). Grim isn't all talk, however: he barely survives on-site research during drug riots in Bolivia, goes through a typically fraught trip on ayahuasca, and scouts the battlefields of the fight to legalize cannabis ("In San Francisco, pot clubs quickly outnumbered McDonald's franchises"). This lively, personable history should strike fans of Martin Torgoff's Can't Find My Way Home as a worthy follow-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

* Admitting that “so much has been written on drug use and American culture that it would take weeks to roll all of that paper up and smoke it,” journalist Grim plunges into the counterculture, the literature, the research, the opposition, the pharmaceutical interests, the media coverage, the kids and users, the heroes and the hypocrites to chart the evolution of drug use in America, covering every illegal high, taking on well-entrenched myths and turning up fascinating stories on current trends—beginning with the end of LSD. Backed by plenty of startling facts (i.e., 1984's drug-related criminal population was 30,000; by 1991 it was more than 150,000), Grim fashions a sharp critique of anti-drug programs (“exposure to [anti-drug] ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use among certain groups, such as fourteen-to-sixteen year olds and whites”) and other policy decisions (President Clinton's approval of NAFTA led to an unprecedented influx of drugs across the Mexican border). Grim isn't all talk, however: he barely survives on-site research during drug riots in Bolivia, goes through a typically fraught trip on ayahuasca, and scouts the battlefields of the fight to legalize cannabis (“In San Francisco, pot clubs quickly outnumbered McDonald’s franchises”). This lively, personable history should strike fans of Martin Torgoff’s Can’t Find My Way Home as a worthy follow-up. (July) (Publishers Weekly, July 27, 2009)

""One of the theses of This Is Your Country on Drugs -- a cornucopia of unconventional wisdom about our relationship to mind-altering substances -- is that the popularity of drugs waxes and wanes according to a complex sum of factors."" (salon.com, July 20, 2009)

""Mark Kleiman calls it ""Atonishingly clear-headed and well-written, as if someone had taken David Courtwright and added just a splash of Hunter Thompson."" (Mark Klieman, TPMCafe)

""A wide-ranging, fascinating romp through the history of America's insatiable appetite for all manner of drugs, from opium to crystal meth, all the way up to the possibly soon-to-be-illegal hallucinogen Salvia divinorum."" (The Philadelphia City Paper)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780470643891
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/27/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
581,352
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

RYAN GRIM is the Huffington Post's senior congressional correspondent and has written for Slate, Rolling Stone, Harper's, and the Washington Post.

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