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Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America's True Drug Addiction Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 23, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Steroid Nation, Shaun Assael skillfully tracks the course of the steroid epidemic that has swept through American sports. His portrait of pioneering steroid guru Dan Duchaine, who did so much to popularize performance-enhancing drugs, is compelling and disturbing." --Lance Williams, co-author, Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroid Scandal That Rocked Professional Sports -- Lance Williams, co-author

"Shaun Assael's Steroid Nation documents the rise of muscle culture in much the same way that Randy Shilts' And the Band Played On chronicled the spread of AIDS. This marvelously reported narrative takes the reader from seedy California gyms to Capitol Hill, from high school locker rooms to major league clubhouses. Finally, Assael demonstrates the price Americans have paid for getting so big." --Mark Kriegel, author of Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich and Namath: A Biography -- Mark Kriegel

"This story doesnÕt just take place in the professional baseball stadiums of America, it takes place on the playgrounds of every town in the United States. ÊSteroid Nation tells us how steroids have become our countryÕs drug and offers some important solutions for the future." --Barry McCaffrey, former Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- Barry McCaffrey

"With Steroid Nation, Shaun Assael has brilliantly anatomized the American obsession with performance -- and physique -- enhancing drugs. If you are interested in the truth about todayÕs sports world -- the unvarnished but juiced-up, muscle-bound truth -- Steroid Nation is required reading." --Jeremy Schaap, author of Cinderella Man: James J.Braddock, Max Baer and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler's Olympics -- Steroid Nation

About the Author

Shaun Assael is an award-winning investigative writer with ESPN The Magazine. He is the author of a chronicle of the 1996 NASCAR season, Wide Open, and coauthor of an unauthorized biography of the WWE’s Vince McMahon, Sex, Lies & Headlocks, which was a New York Times best-seller.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: ESPN; 1 edition (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933060379
  • ASIN: B003A02YNS
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,243,772 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It was easy to read, and is very much a history book.
Diet Coke Fiend
It will be interesting to see how the IOC handles the issue this go around.
Sunday Morning
His detailed look at Venice Steroid Guru Dan Duchaine is scary at times.
Christopher Bell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Duff HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's impossible to be a fan of sports these days and not be aware of the role that steroids play in the lives of athletes. If you listen to the athletes themselves, only a few rogue players get sucked up in the juice. But any rational human knows that the truth is something completely different. In the book Steroid Nation: Juiced Home Run Totals, Anti-aging Miracles, and a Hercules in Every High School: The Secret History of America's True Drug Addiction, Shaun Assael looks at steroid use in America from 1981 to today. You can't help but draw the conclusion that there is a vast conspiracy of silence that allows this to go on in professional and amateur sports.

Contents:
Band of Believers - 1981 - 1992: The Guru of Venice; "Zee Codes, Zey Are Missing", Mules, Threesomes, and Mom; The Running Man; Inside Job; Blow Out; The Biggest Believers
Tapping the Vein - 1992 - 2000: Mormon Money; The Perfect Pitch; Solace and Sex; 'Cause I'm TNT, I'm Dynamite!; The King Is Dead
Long Live The King - 2000 - Present: The Right Stuff; A Bully Pulpit; The Scientist Strikes Back; The Two Arnolds; State of the Union; This Is War; A Vicious Cycle; Growing Pains
Acknowledgments; Bibliography; Source Notes; Index

Assael goes back to the days of the Underground Steroid Handbook and Dan Duchaine. Duchaine became known as "The Guru" due to his extensive knowledge and experimentation with performance enhancing drugs. Working out of the Gold's Gym in Venice, he quickly became the go-to guy when bodybuilders wanted to get bigger and athletes needed to get stronger. While these drug sales were far from legal, the government wasn't as motivated to prosecute as they are in today's environment. But that doesn't mean that all the players were staying out of jail.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Salvator Marinello on November 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shaun Assael, in his book Steroid Nation*, does a great job of weaving the threads of the steroid story from its less than humble beginnings as part of the Venice Beach bodybuilding underground to the Tour de France scandal, use by NFL stars and Major League Baseball players and Olympic champions. Assael tells the story of how the Dan Duchaine, the original steroid guru, opened up Pandora's Box when he published the Underground Steroid Handbook for Men and Women in 1982, and set in motion events that were responsible for - among other things - the BALCO Labs performance-enhancing drug scandal, the drug related deaths of professional wrestlers and the creation of the multi-billion dollar dietary supplement industry.

Steroid Nation* is a crazy story of mad geniuses, smugglers, drug dealers, underground gurus, self-taught chemists, deviants, narcissists, human guinea pigs, cheaters and liars. For people who have had their head in the sand with regard the steroids in sports scandal, Steroid Nation* will grab them by the scruff of their collective necks and shake them into awareness. The uninitiated will be amazed that a sociopath like Dan Duchaine could have had an influence on everything from the explosion of the use of steroids and human growth hormone to the creation of the drugs that were at the heart of the BALCO Labs scandal.

The amazing thing about how performance-enhancing drugs have affected the world of recreational activities and sport, is that there is a coherent string running through the story that connects the pioneers of the movement 30 years ago - Duchaine and his contemporaries; people that nobody has really ever heard of - to some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment of the past 10 years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sunday Morning on July 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book on how steroids moved from the gym culture in California to mainstream America, from professional to high school athletics and strange way we view steroids - classifying them as dangerous drugs while giving those who make, distribute or use them little more than a slap on the wrist. I liked the personal anecdotes about the people involved, which lent a lot of color to a very throughly researched book. I'm looking forward to learning more about this topic, especially as the Beijing Olympics unfold. It will be interesting to see how the IOC handles the issue this go around.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Miller on March 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The cops and robbers part of this book is excellent, as the author draws nice profiles of the major characters, and follows the legislative and legal history of steroids. He keeps up interest as you get to "know" the enforcers, the "gurus", scientists, coaches and others including the famous governor of my state. He also does a good job of explaining how steroids and other enhancement drugs work in your body. I think he was pretty fair in not overly demonizing the bad guys or hero worshiping the good guys.

However, I was frustrated by much that was left out. For example, in the first chapter he talks about a steroid advocate being in regular contact with strength coaches of major NCAA schools without identifying the schools. He also doesn't give much information on what the long term effects of these drugs are. He gives a few scary examples of individuals who died before their time, and in a late chapter he mentions scores of ex-wresters dying at an early age (but doesn't say what they died of - though he implies it's of heart problems).

Finally, he doesn't get into the usage of steroids in the beef and poultry industries and what those health consequences might be, and / or how they are regulated.

I'm afraid we're still waiting for the definitive book on steroids in society, but it's a good read with some interesting information.
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