Happy Pills in America

Happy Pills in America

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Valium. Paxil. Prozac. Prescribed by the millions each year, these medications have been hailed as wonder drugs and vilified as numbing and addictive crutches. Where did this qblockbuster drugq phenomenon come from? What factors led to the mass acceptance of tranquilizers and antidepressants? And how has their widespread use affected American culture? David Herzberg addresses these questions by tracing the rise of psychiatric medicines, from Miltown in the 1950s to Valium in the 1970s to Prozac in the 1990s. The result is more than a story of doctors and patients. From bare-knuckled marketing campaigns to political activism by feminists and antidrug warriors, the fate of psychopharmacology has been intimately wrapped up in the broader currents of modern American history. Beginning with the emergence of a medical marketplace for psychoactive drugs in the postwar consumer culture, Herzberg traces how qhappy pillsq became embroiled in Cold War gender battles and the explosive politics of the qwar against drugsqa€”and how feminists brought the two issues together in a dramatic campaign against Valium addiction in the 1970s. A final look at antidepressants shows that even the Prozac phenomenon owed as much to commerce and culture as to scientific wizardry. With a barrage of qask your doctor aboutq advertisements competing for attention with shocking news of drug company malfeasance, Happy Pills is an invaluable look at how the commercialization of medicine has transformed American culture since the end of World War II. -- Lizabeth Cohen, author of A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar AmericaFigures from Federal Trade Commission, Securities Exchange Commission, and Moody a#39;5 Industrial Manual collected by Paul Rand Dixon, ... House, Committee on Government Operations, Subcommittee on Legal and Marketing Affairs (1958) , False and Misleading ... Industry (Tranquilizers)a€” did ultimately result in an important new law, but not the one he was aiming for: because of the Thalidomideanbsp;...

Title:Happy Pills in America
Author: David Herzberg
Publisher:JHU Press - 2010-10-01

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