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Miller's explanations of these investigations make for excellent intellectual detective stories. New Statesman Miller displays an impressive knowledge of both neurochemistry and Western cultural history. Focus It's hard to imagine a more satisfying history than Drugged ... Miller's enthusiasm gives the text a quirky, eccentric charm ... Indeed, the connections Miller makes between the arts and the science of our brains on drugs are some of the most delightful bits in Drugged. The Daily Beast Miller cover[s] everything from tea and coffee to LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and Prozac (fluoxetine hydrochloride) ... He also makes lengthy and lively excursions into culture. Nature Drugged brims with surprises, revealing the fact that antidepressant drugs evolved from the rocket fuel that shot V2 rockets into London during World War II, highlighting the role of hallucinogens in the history of religion, and asking whether Prozac can help depressed cats. Gaia
About the Author
Richard Miller is Alfred Newton Richards Professor of Pharmacology at Northwestern University. He has authored or co-authored more than 400 papers and journal articles on molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry.
Just finished Richard J. Miller's "Drugged" which is a tour de force of the history, culture, and science of psychotropic drugs (i.e. drugs which influence the brain). Miller's tour can become a bit technical in places, but the non-technical reader should bear through these points for the bulk of the book is filled with interesting knowledge. For the technically inclined, the book provides an excellent chemical and biological overview. "Drugged" explores all classes if psychotropics with, for the most part, each chapter covering each class. Miller usually starts out with historical context then moves into the technicals and weaves cultural implications throughout. The last chapter covers the relationship between the brain and immune systems wrapped in an exploration of the life and death of composer Robert Schumann. Coffee, caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, and chocolate are reviewed in addition to the usuals of LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, and morphine. All in all, it made for an excellent read.
Richard Miller is a fantastic storyteller. I greatly enjoyed reading the history and mechanisms behind the drugs discussed in this book, which includes caffeine (always relevant). One thing to note, if you do not have a basic science background, some of the drug action mechanisms can be difficult to understand. However, Dr. Miller makes the subject matter entertaining by recounting the stories you never hear, and bringing the scientists, anthropologists, and other historical figures to life. If you ever have the chance to attend a lecture by Dr. Miller in person, I highly recommend that you do so. Overall, great book, and I definitely recommend that you read it!
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As a 3rd year pharmacy student, I am always enthralled by the pharmacology/toxicology of drugs. I am also a rabid reader of history books, so when a book comes out that combines the two, I am ecstatic! This book has been a wonderful read thus far ( I am only about 1/4 of the way through it due to having a therapeutics exam coming up and not a lot of "free time" to read leisurely). The book is well-written and definitely easily approachable by the common layperson and is also a good refresher for us biology/chemistry geeks. I look forward to finishing it soon and will definitely update my review at that time. With that said, so far so very good!
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