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The American Disease: Origins of Narcotic Control Paperback – April 22, 1999

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"Musto makes a persuasive case for thoughtful deliberation when framing a policy against the use and abuse of drugs. He is a national asset."--the late Fred W. Friendly, former Director of Seminars on Media and Society, Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.


"Mandatory reading....An important work of historical clarification....Musto tells a rich and significant story, enlivened by the foibles, myopia and hysteria of several generations of Americans, including this one."--The New York Times Book Review


"The best single text around on the evolution of our narcotics laws and the political and social climate that shaped them."--The Washington Post Book World


About the Author

David F. Musto, M.D., a well-known authority on drug abuse, is Professor of Child Psychiatry and the History of Medicine at the Yale School of Medicine.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3 edition (April 22, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195125096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195125092
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 1 x 5.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #210,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the book on the history of drug policy in the USA. Musto details the whole history of the regulation of addictive from the beginning of the 20th century to the years of the Clinton administration. There is particular emphasis on Federal drug policy. Musto shows well how drug policy has oscillated between relative tolerance and stringent efforts to crackdown on the use of potentially addictive drugs. Musto is particularly good at demonstrating how apparently extrinsic factors influenced strongly Federal response to narcotic regulation. Fears of Federal regulation by physicians, aspects of Progressive era reformist zeal, even foreign policy considerations are shown to be important influences on Federal drug policy. While this is not a social history of drug use, Musto is careful to show how attempts at regulation were often influenced by misperceptions of the extent of drug abuse. There are some surprising aspects to Musto's story. Federal regulation of narcotics, backed by important Supreme Court decisions, was an early example of expansive Federal power superceding state and local regulation. One of Musto's most interesting observations is the considerable extent to which racist fears of Chinese immigrants, Mexican migrants, and African-Americans influenced early efforts to control narcotics tightly. Readers will find this book very informative with a strong sense of deja vu; contemporary debates about drug policy are similar in many ways to debates occurring early in the 20th century. This fact illustrates the difficuly developing sensible and effective policies towards drugs with addictive potential.
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WAS ONE OF THE MOST INFORMATIVE BOOK ON THE HISTORY OF THE SO CALLED "WAR ON DRUGS," ....THE AUTHOR MAKES AND SHOWS COMPELLING ARGUMENTS AND PROOF THAT THE CRIMINALIZATION OF RECREATIONAL DRUGS HAS ITS ROOTS IN WHITE FEAR OF ASIAN'S AND AFRICAN AMERICAN'S RATHER THEN SCIENCE. THE CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH WE ARE STILL LIVING WITH TODAY. THIS BOOK IS A MUST READ FOR ANYONE WISHES TO GET A BETTER UNDERSTANDING ON THE "WAR ON DRUGS".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent and detailed history of narcotic control/regulation. The author integrates the social attitudes, political climate and actors, as well as foreign policy issues. He discusses the prevailing medical theories of addiction and how these effected laws and enforcement. He included some information on cannabis but this is mostly about narcotic and cocaine control I learned quite a lot. I certainly recommend this book for the serious student of the historical antecedents of the current war on drugs.
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By twz on February 11, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book is a must for a bookshelf of any scholar - or any informed layperson - in drugs / addictology.
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