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1 Work 86 Jäsentä 3 arvostelua

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20th Century



This was a great premise but needed a better author and editor. The writing "tone" annoyed me to no end. I had to force myself to finish the book. The actual history of opium could have been condensed (the author came off as more interested in the opioid crisis rather than opium itself so should have focused on that or actually focused on opium). A lot of chapters could have been combined or were not necessary. And while the author kept going on about the opioid crisis, he does a quick gloss over its actual history. This felt more like a junior high essay rather than a useful history. And there was definitely more research that could have been done.… (lisätietoja)
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pacbox | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 9, 2022 |
While the author of Opium makes a convincing argument that the history of the opium epidemic is important to understand in order to not repeat the mistakes of our past, the history portrayed in this book is more than exhaustive and makes the first half very tedious to get through. It was so boring that I let the ebook from my library expire on my iPad because I couldn't force myself to continue reading, then read several other books instead, and only got back to this out of a feeling that I should finish this off before the new year. (I almost finished before the new year!)

The last part of this book is more interesting, as the author focuses on more modern (20th century) attempts to control the opium trade, and how ineffective (and racist) it has been and continues to be in the United States. The look at the modern opium epidemic kicked off by OxyContin was very brief and extremely abbreviated (the author never once mentions the incentives that Purdue Pharma gave to its drug reps to increase prescriptions of the drug) and does not mention how deindustrialization helped feed into the current crisis facing the U.S. I found the intense thoroughness of the first half of the book to be in great contrast to how abbreviated the look into the U.S.'s modern (20th/21st) crises was.

Probably the most compelling part of this book is a look into different treatment modalities, but even those I've read about more in depth in another book. (I can't recall exactly which, but here are some of my highly-rated reads that cover either the opiate epidemic or drug addiction treatment in general: Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, The Sober Truth: Debunking the Bad Science Behind 12-Step Programs and the Rehab Industry, and Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy.)

Honestly, at this point, are there people who are unaware of the opiate epidemic? Is there a need for more books like this? I don't have answers to those questions, but this would not be the book I would recommend to raise awareness about the issues.
… (lisätietoja)
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lemontwist | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 1, 2021 |
Wanted to learn more about opium after reading a tough book about the opium wars. Given the title, I thought this might be something a little similar, but it ended up not being so. What I thought would be focused on opium and the history (which is what the title and subtitle made me think of), instead the reader is treated to a wide range, from the history to the opioid crisis of today.

I had also hoped for more about the Opium Wars themselves, but instead the author clearly wants to move on and get to what interests him, which was really disappointing. Overall, the negative reviews are right: there needed to be a much stronger editor to hammer this into less scattered thoughts and into something more cohesive.

I'm also cautious due to the negative reviews that state there are historical inaccuracies. Since this is not an area where I'm knowledgeable on I really couldn't say but it makes me a little uneasy after reading this book. Not saying there isn't value to it, but the reviews on Amazon make a strong case as to why maybe a reader should be a little more hesitant.

Library borrow and that was best.
… (lisätietoja)
1 ääni
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HoldMyBook | 2 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 1, 2019 |



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