Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

This book benefited from so much help from so many people over so many years that it is hard to know where to begin to express my gratitude. I owe special thanks to those who have sacrificed their valuable time in commenting on drafts and excerpts, notably Jackie Biro, Mark Cortiula, Larry Diller, David Healy, Chris Kearney, Iain...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-5

Ours is an age accustomed to miracle drugs. We expect new triumphs of science that, in our lifetime, will eliminate mankind’s most ancient enemies: all the illnesses that bring pain, sorrow, frailty, and untimely death. We expect these triumphs, moreover, to come in pharmaceutical form. The most famous miracle drug remains...

read more

1. The New Sensation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 6-24

On June 3, 1929, a twenty-seven-year-old chemist in Los Angeles took an injection of a mystery chemical he had recently created. Beyond an estimate of how much it would take to kill him, and the expectation that his blood pressure would rise—both derived from guinea pig tests—he had little idea what the injection would do. He...

read more

2. Benzedrine: The Making of a Modern Medicine

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-52

Alles had found a splendid partner to make his creation a blockbuster. Although Smith, Kline & French could not yet boast many scientifically impressive pharmaceuticals in its product line (Figure 8), the firm had the marketing skills to turn a mere chemical into a successful medicine. The period in which amphetamine...

read more

3. Speed and Total War [Includes Image Plates]

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 53-86

When the Germans attacked Poland in September 1939, they unleashed an entirely new form of warfare on the world called Blitzkrieg, or lightning war. It was all about speed and shock, about delivering the strongest, quickest blow and then covering lots of ground before the enemy could regroup. The soldiers who delivered the...

read more

4. Bootleggers, Beatniks, and Benzedrine Benders

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 87-112

Most drugs have multiple effects on the body; of these, only one or two may be medically useful. The others might still be valuable for scientific research—as well as for other quite unscientific purposes. The early nonmedical users of amphetamine experienced an especially wide range of effects from which they selected a few as interesting or...

read more

5. A Bromide for the Atomic Age [Includes Image Plates]

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 113-148

In the 1940s and 1950s the world of the American family doctor, where amphetamine found its largest market, differed little in essence from that of general practitioners a generation before. Contrary to romantic notions we might now have about the “good old days,” the average doctor has always been too busy. From the late...

read more

6. Amphetamine and the Go-Go Years

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 149-181

Historical accounts typically treat tranquilizers as beginning the widespread medication of everyday psychological distress. The drug industry’s interest in antidepressants supposedly came later.¹ Mistaken though this perspective certainly is, in overlooking the two previous decades during which amphetamine-based...

read more

7. Amphetamine’s Decline: From Mental Medicine to Social Disease

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 182-221

How was the 1960s amphetamine epidemic ever brought to an end? This question is critical if we wish to apply the lessons of history to the drug problems of today. Some of the events that finally led the American public to view amphetamines as a seductive monster, and to bring sufficient force to bear in controlling the drugs, were...

read more

8. Fast Forward: Still on Speed, 1971 to Today

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 222-254

Amphetamine and Methamphetamine passed through the complete life cycle between the mid-1930s, when they were first heralded as miracle drugs, and the mid-1970s, by which time both drugs were widely viewed as public enemies and their medical use diminished to a trickle. With declining medical consumption, street...

read more

Conclusion: The Lessons of History

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 255-260

Although major changes in social structures and values may be needed if America’s craving for speed is ever to diminish, this is no reason to neglect the search for simpler, smaller-scale changes that might help mitigate the harms, both direct and indirect, of today’s heavy consumption of amphetamine-like drugs. And history does...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 261-346

List of Archival Sources

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 347

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 348-351

About the Author

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 352