This gripping memoir, enhanced by statistics and other stories of addiction, reveals the devastating human cost of failure...

GENERATION RX

A STORY OF DOPE, DEATH, AND AMERICA'S OPIATE CRISIS

After her 20-year-old brother, Pat, died from a heroin overdose, Daly gave up her prestigious job as a legal reporter to spend five years looking for an answer to the epidemic spread of addiction among children and young adults.

Following Pat’s death, the author gained access to his journal and learned more about his path to destruction. Like many young addicts, his downfall began early with marijuana and alcohol. Then, he moved on to prescription pain medications and, eventually, heroin. “[I]n 2011, 4.2 million Americans aged 12 or older reported using heroin at least once in their lives,” writes Daly, “and [like Pat], nearly half of the young IV heroin users reported that they abused prescription opioids first.” Pain medications are so freely prescribed that they are an easily available, cheap high for teenagers. A few pills per day rapidly escalates to 30 or more, at an unsustainable cost. Addiction follows, and the life of a junkie frequently ends in death within a few years. The rate of recidivism after release from rehabilitation programs is high; even near misses from overdosing and the deaths of friends are insufficient deterrents. As the author learned from her brother's diary, he wasn't having fun, “just partying, being a dumb kid, making bad choices. He was truly an addict.” Daly faces the painful realization that she had failed him by deluding herself that he was simply going through a phase. In 2009, the author launched a blog, Oxy Watchdog, which put her in touch with individuals whose lives had been touched by addiction: users and their families, law enforcement officers, social workers and politicians. The author also provides a timeline of “America’s Epidemic of Prescription Painkiller and Heroin Abuse,” beginning with Bayer’s release of heroin as cough suppressant in 1898.

This gripping memoir, enhanced by statistics and other stories of addiction, reveals the devastating human cost of failure to face the consequences of the epidemic spread of drug abuse.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-61902-291-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Counterpoint

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS

Maya Angelou is a natural writer with an inordinate sense of life and she has written an exceptional autobiographical narrative which retrieves her first sixteen years from "the general darkness just beyond the great blinkers of childhood."

Her story is told in scenes, ineluctably moving scenes, from the time when she and her brother were sent by her fancy living parents to Stamps, Arkansas, and a grandmother who had the local Store. Displaced they were and "If growing up is painful for the Southern Black girl, being aware of her displacement is the rust on the razor that threatens the throat." But alternating with all the pain and terror (her rape at the age of eight when in St. Louis With her mother) and humiliation (a brief spell in the kitchen of a white woman who refused to remember her name) and fear (of a lynching—and the time they buried afflicted Uncle Willie under a blanket of vegetables) as well as all the unanswered and unanswerable questions, there are affirmative memories and moments: her charming brother Bailey; her own "unshakable God"; a revival meeting in a tent; her 8th grade graduation; and at the end, when she's sixteen, the birth of a baby. Times When as she says "It seemed that the peace of a day's ending was an assurance that the covenant God made with children, Negroes and the crippled was still in effect."

However charily one should apply the word, a beautiful book, an unconditionally involving memoir for our time or any time.

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1969

ISBN: 0375507892

Page Count: 235

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1969

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A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

AN INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES

Custer died for your sins. And so, this book would seem to suggest, did every other native victim of colonialism.

Inducing guilt in non-native readers would seem to be the guiding idea behind Dunbar-Ortiz’s (Emerita, Ethnic Studies/California State Univ., Hayward; Blood on the Border: A Memoir of the Contra War, 2005, etc.) survey, which is hardly a new strategy. Indeed, the author says little that hasn’t been said before, but she packs a trove of ideological assumptions into nearly every page. For one thing, while “Indian” isn’t bad, since “[i]ndigenous individuals and peoples in North America on the whole do not consider ‘Indian’ a slur,” “American” is due to the fact that it’s “blatantly imperialistic.” Just so, indigenous peoples were overwhelmed by a “colonialist settler-state” (the very language broadly applied to Israelis vis-à-vis the Palestinians today) and then “displaced to fragmented reservations and economically decimated”—after, that is, having been forced to live in “concentration camps.” Were he around today, Vine Deloria Jr., the always-indignant champion of bias-puncturing in defense of native history, would disavow such tidily packaged, ready-made, reflexive language. As it is, the readers who are likely to come to this book—undergraduates, mostly, in survey courses—probably won’t question Dunbar-Ortiz’s inaccurate assertion that the military phrase “in country” derives from the military phrase “Indian country” or her insistence that all Spanish people in the New World were “gold-obsessed.” Furthermore, most readers won’t likely know that some Ancestral Pueblo (for whom Dunbar-Ortiz uses the long-abandoned term “Anasazi”) sites show evidence of cannibalism and torture, which in turn points to the inconvenient fact that North America wasn’t entirely an Eden before the arrival of Europe.

A Churchill-ian view of native history—Ward, that is, not Winston—its facts filtered through a dense screen of ideology.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8070-0040-3

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Beacon Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2014

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