New Nonfiction: High Price – Dr. Carl Hart

Booksellers, keep an eye on this. I think we could see a strong sales pop. A critique of current drug policy written by a neuroscientist, this book combines memoir, science and sociology to look at the many ways our drug policy is wrong, racist and simply exacerbates the problem. Advance reviewers were clearly as fascinated as I was (see below).

Needless to say there are strong media opportunities. What I see so far includes interviews on The Huffington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, MSNBC-TV’s The Cycle, PBS’s Tavis Smiley Show as well as NPR programs The Takeaway and On Point. Reviews are slated in The Boston Globe and Scientific American, I expect many more to come.

A hard-hitting attack on current drug policy by… a neuroscientist who grew up on the streets of one of Miami’s toughest neighborhoods. … Hart debunks claims that the use of crack cocaine is more dangerous than other forms of the drug and therefore should be punished more severely-a distinction that penalizes ghetto users who are the most typical crack users. . . . . Reflecting on his experiences growing up in the ghetto, Hart realized that social environment was as important as the availability of street drugs. His own remarkable path to success included a large component of good luck. . . . An eye-opening, absorbing, complex story of scientific achievement in the face of overwhelming odds”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] radically new approach that is thought-provoking and that will certainly stimulate controversial opinions, especially among the drug abuse treatment profession. He succeeds in presenting an interesting blend of personal memoir with a critical analysis of why drugs and drug users are shunned, the role racial policies have played in this perception, and how these misperceptions have resulted in current drug fighting approaches he views as counterproductive.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“Combining memoir, popular science, and public policy, Hart’s study lambasts current drug laws as draconian and repressive, arguing that they’re based more on assumptions about race and class than on a real understanding of the physiological and societal effects of drugs…. His is a provocative clarion call for students of sociology and policy-makers alike.”
Publishers Weekly

High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (9780062015884) by Carl Hart. $26.99 hardcover.

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