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Addiction focuses on the emergence, nature, and persistence of addictive behavior, as well as the efforts of addicts to overcome their condition. Do addicts act of their own free will, or are they driven by forces beyond their control? Do structured treatment programs offer more hope for recovery? What causes relapses to occur? Recent scholarship has focused attention on the voluntary aspects of addiction, particularly the role played by choice. Addiction draws upon this new research and the investigations of economists, psychiatrists, philosophers, neuropharmacologists, historians, and sociologists to offer an important new approach to our understanding of addictive behavior.
The notion that addicts favor present rewards over future gains or penalties echoes throughout the chapters in Addiction. The effect of cultural values and beliefs on addicts, and on those who treat them, is also explored, particularly in chapters by Elster on alcoholism and by Acker on American heroin addicts in the 1920s and 1930s. Essays by Gardner and by Waal and Mørland discuss the neurobiological roots of addiction Among their findings are evidence that addictive drugs also have an important effect on areas of the central nervous system unrelated to euphoria or dysphoria, and that tolerance and withdrawal phenomena vary greatly from drug to drug.
The plight of addicts struggling to regain control of their lives receives important consideration in Addiction. Elster, Skog, and O'Donoghue and Rabin look at self-administered therapies ranging from behavioral modifications to cognitive techniques, and discuss conditions under which various treatment strategies work. Drug-based forms of treatment are discussed by Gardner, drawing on work that suggests that parts of the population have low levels of dopamine, inducing a tendency toward sensation-seeking.
There are many different explanations for the impulsive, self-destructive behavior that is addiction. By bringing the triple perspective of neurobiology, choice, and culture to bear on the phenomenon, Addiction offers a unique and valuable source of information and debate on a problem of world-wide proportions.
An Oral History of Narcotic Use in America before 1965
Bilingual Education and Dominican Immigrant Youth in the Heights
Additive Schooling in Subtractive Times documents the unusually successful efforts of one New York City high school to educate Dominican immigrant youth, at a time when Latino immigrants constitute a growing and vulnerable population in the nation’s secondary schools. Based on four and a half years of qualitative research, the book examines the schooling of teens in the Dominican Republic, the social and linguistic challenges the immigrant teens face in Washington Heights, and how Gregorio Luperón High School works with the community to respond to those challenges. The staff at Luperón see their students as emergent bilinguals and adhere to a culturally and linguistically additive approach. After offering a history of the school’s formation, the authors detail the ways in which federal No Child Left Behind policies, New York State accountability measures, and New York City’s educational reforms under Mayor Bloomberg have complicated the school’s efforts. The book then describes the dynamic bilingual pedagogical approach adopted within the school to help students develop academic Spanish and English. Focusing on the lives of twenty immigrant youth, Bartlett and García also show that, although the school achieves high completion rates, the graduating students nevertheless face difficult postsecondary educational and work environments that too often consign them to the ranks of the working poor.
George Washington’s Farewell and the Making of National Culture, Politics, and Diplomacy, 1796–1852
In his presidential Farewell Address of 1796, George Washington presented a series of maxims to guide the construction of a wise foreign policy. He believed, as did generations of his adherents, that if the United States stayed true to the principles he discussed, the country would eventually attain national greatness and international respectability. These principles quickly became engrained in the DNA of what it meant to be an American in the first half of the nineteenth century, shaping the formation of U.S. foreign policy, politics, and political culture. The Declaration of Independence affirmed American ideals, the Constitution established American government, and the Farewell Address enabled Americans to understand their country and its place in the world. While the Declaration and Constitution have persisted as foundational documents, our appreciation for the Farewell Address has faded with time.
By focusing on the enduring influence of the Farewell Address on nineteenth-century Americans, and on their abiding devotion to Washington, author Jeffrey Malanson brings the Address back into the spotlight for twenty-first-century readers. When citizens gathered in town halls, city commons, and local churches to commemorate Washington, engagement with the Farewell Address was a cornerstone of their celebrations. This annual rededication to Washington’s principles made the Farewell Address both a framework for the attainment of national happiness and prosperity and a blueprint for national security, and it resulted in its position as the central text through which citizens of the early republic came to understand the connections between the nation’s domestic and foreign ambitions.
Through its focus on the diplomatic, political, and cultural impacts of Washington’s Farewell Address, Addressing America reasserts the fundamental importance of this critical document to the development of the United States in the first half of the nineteenth century.
A Memoir of the Sandinista Revolution
Adiós Muchachos is a candid insider’s account of the leftist Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. During the 1970s, Sergio Ramírez led prominent intellectuals, priests, and business leaders to support the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), against Anastasio Somoza’s dictatorship. After the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza regime in 1979, Ramírez served as vice-president under Daniel Ortega from 1985 until 1990, when the FSLN lost power in a national election. Disillusioned by his former comrades’ increasing intolerance of dissent and resistance to democratization, Ramírez defected from the Sandinistas in 1995 and founded the Sandinista Renovation Movement. In Adiós Muchachos, he describes the utopian aspirations for liberation and reform that motivated the Sandinista revolution against the Somoza regime, as well as the triumphs and shortcomings of the movement’s leadership as it struggled to turn an insurrection into a government, reconstruct a country beset by poverty and internal conflict, and defend the revolution against the Contras, an armed counterinsurgency supported by the United States. Adiós Muchachos was first published in 1999. Based on a later edition, this translation includes Ramírez’s thoughts on more recent developments, including the re-election of Daniel Ortega as president in 2006.
The Gangs of Guatemala City and the Politics of Death
Censorship, Political Criticism, and the Public Sphere