In The New York Times Book Review, Steve Silberman reviews Alan Schwarz’s “ADHD Nation: Children, Doctors, Big Pharma, and the Making of an American Epidemic.” Silberman writes:
While other books have probed the historical roots of America’s love affair with amphetamines — notably Nicolas Rasmussen’s “On Speed,” published in 2008 — “ADHD Nation” focuses on an unholy alliance between drugmakers, academic psychiatrists, policy makers and celebrity shills like Glenn Beck that Schwarz brands the “A.D.H.D. industrial complex.” The insidious genius of this alliance, he points out, was selling the disorder rather than the drugs, in the guise of promoting A.D.H.D. “awareness.” By bankrolling studies, cultivating mutually beneficial relationships with psychopharmacologists at prestigious universities like Harvard and laundering its marketing messages through trusted agencies like the World Health Organization, the pharmaceutical industry created what Schwarz aptly terms “a self-affirming circle of science, one that quashed all dissent.”
On this week’s podcast, Schwarz talks about “ADHD Nation”; Raina Telgemeier discusses her new graphic novel, “Ghosts”; Nicholson Baker talks about “Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids”; and Gregory Cowles, Jennifer Schuessler and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.
Here are the books mentioned in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:
“Outline” by Rachel Cusk
“Blood in the Water” by Heather Ann Thompson
“The Art of Rivalry” by Sebastian Smee
“Great Granny Webster” by Caroline Blackwood
“The Dirt” by Neil Strauss
We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them firstname.lastname@example.org.