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Pioneer of Inner Space: The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Hasheesh Eater Paperback – December 1, 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Autonomedia (December 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570270716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570270710
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,143,526 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert L. Champ on March 11, 1999
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is unfortunate that the recent readership for Fitz Hugh Ludlow's writing has been confined mostly to counterculture types perusing reprints of his most famous work, _The Hasheesh Eater_. Ludlow in his time was a popular writer, and he deserves a wider readership than he presently has. Donald Dulchinos's new biography will, one hopes, help him find that new audience in the years to come. To this end, one of the most valuable parts of the book is the discussion of Ludlow's short stories, and novels like _The Primpenny Family_ and _The Household Angel_. Here Dulchinos provides synopses, copiously illustrates Ludlow's ready satiric bent, and analyzes the increasing maturity of an artist who died far too young--age 36. (In passing, Dulchinos also produces a valuable introduction to the publishing of books and periodicals during the 1850s and '60s).

Dulchinos's book presents Ludlow's life in a balanced way, though he clearly likes his subject. He pulls together information that has previously existed only in unpublished letters and diaries, and makes valuable connections between Ludlow's work and his life-story. The picture that emerges is that of a brilliant and well-educated man whose inner demons often found an outlet in his fascination first with hashish and then opium. In addition, Dulchinos shows Ludlow as a caring humanitarian who first brought the opium addiction crisis among Civil War veterans to the attention of the American public, and who worked to cure many of the veterans who contacted him, sometimes to the point of supporting them out of his own not particularly deep pockets.

The book is written in a lively style and is not overly laden with details, as are some biographies which drown important events in a sea of trivial information.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book to be an honest and candid story about one man's struggle with addiction. The fact that his addiction occurred nealy a century ago is fascinating and compelling,given there was little or no therapy for recovery.
Actually, I have completely read the book but from the chapters I've have read so far, I am enthralled by this book. It is a good read and relevant to many issues facing drug users today.

Vondell C. Jones
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