Chasing the Scream

By Johann Hari,

Book cover of Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

Book description

The New York Times Bestseller

What if everything you think you know about addiction is wrong? Johann Hari's journey into the heart of the war on drugs led him to ask this question--and to write the book that gave rise to his viral TED talk, viewed more than 62 million…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Chasing the Scream as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book opens our eyes to the sordid history of drug use in the US and elsewhere and why it’s become such a problem. I was appalled at the things our country did and continue to do that has created this problem, and deeply dismayed at the barbaric way we continue to deal with this, especially since and there are three countries in the world that have resolved the drug problem in their country that should be role models for us. 

Hari’s Chasing the Scream is not an exhaustively researched book but it still merits listing given how viscerally the author addresses the history of the global war on drugs in the light of his own personal addiction. Hari shines in his depiction of circa 1930s U.S. Drug Cop #1, Henry J. Anslinger, who, among other dubious endeavors, sought to throw the book at jazz singer Billie Holiday, who also happened to be a heroin addict.  

From Russell's list on what the war on drugs is really about.

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