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The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey Hardcover – January 1, 2010
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A brief review cannot do justice to Trysh Travis's analytically muscular, well-researched history of the recovery movement. . . . This gracefully written book should be essential reading for historians seeking to understand the cultural and institutional mechanisms informing the triumph of the therapeutic in twentieth-century America.--Journal of American History
[The Language of the Heart] is the rare book that more than lives up to its promises. . . . Travis's examination is the best introductory survey published to date.--Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality
Historicizes and explicates the paradigm and movement of recovery and examines its connections to broader historical and cultural currents in the US. . . . Recommended.--Choice
A compelling and fascinating journey into the American soul as seen through Alcoholics Anonymous and the self-help movement."
--David A. Kessler, author of The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite
Travis's understanding of the recovery movement has profound implications for several established academic disciplines as well as for the incipient cross-disciplinary field of alcohol and addiction studies.--John W. Crowley, University of Alabama
Tracing the rise and diffusion of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-step program from subculture to pop culture, Travis provides an excellent history of the recovery movement. Destined to be a landmark in the field.--Joan D. Hedrick, Trinity College
A major reconsideration of one of modern America's most popular cultural traditions, written with intelligence and verve. Much scholarship on recovery culture derides it as apolitical self-absorption; Travis, skeptical of such polemics, discovers a dynamic and contested history of ordinary women and men navigating the complex gender and race politics of the postwar era.--David Herzberg, author of Happy Pills in America: From Miltown to Prozac
With verve and nuance, Travis offers fresh insight into the gendered subtext of recovery, one of the most broadly successful social movements of the twentieth century.--Nancy Campbell, author of Using Women: Gender, Drug Policy, and Social Justice