Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History

Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History

Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History

Medicating Modern America: Prescription Drugs in History


The anti-Vietnam War movement in the United States is perhaps best remembered for its young, counterculture student protesters. However, the Vietnam War was the first conflict in American history in which a substantial number of military personnel actively protested the war while it was in progress.

In The Turning , Andrew Hunt reclaims the history of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW), an organization that transformed the antiwar movement by placing Vietnam veterans in the forefront of the nationwide struggle to end the war. Misunderstood by both authorities and radicals alike, VVAW members were mostly young men who had served in Vietnam and returned profoundly disillusioned with the rationale for the war and with American conduct in Southeast Asia. Angry, impassioned, and uncompromisingly militant, the VVAW that Hunt chronicles in this first history of the organization posed a formidable threat to America's Vietnam policy and further contributed to the sense that the nation was under siege from within.

Based on extensive interviews and in-depth primary research, including recently declassified government files, The Turning is a vivid history of the men who risked censures, stigma, even imprisonment for a cause they believed to be "an extended tour of duty."


Medicating Modern America explores the rich and multifaceted history of pharmaceutical medicines in modern America since World War ii. With Americans paying more than $200 billion in 2005 for prescription pills, the pharmaceutical business is the most profitable in the nation. the popularity of prescription drugs in recent decades has reframed interactions between doctors and patients, making prescription-writing and pilltaking an integral part of medical practice and everyday life. Medicating Modern America examines the stories and meanings behind this pharmaceutical revolution through the discrete but interconnected histories of some of the most influential and important drugs associated with its rise.

Drugs are substances that alter the body in order to alleviate symptoms, help make a diagnosis, or promote health and well-being. Their use dates back to ancient times. in cultures and communities around the globe, people have turned to medicinal preparations of plant, animal, or mineral origin to ease physical and psychic pain, combat infection, induce sleep, or stop the spread of disease. Quinine, belladonna, opium, cannabis, and alcohol are but some of the many modern substances that have been in pharmacological circulation for centuries. Our focus here, however, is on a more recent category of therapeutic agents: doctor-prescribed medicines whose surging popularity in the last half-century marked the advent of what some have called the “golden age” of pharmaceutical science. the authors in this volume take an explicitly historical approach to studying the development, prescription, and consumption of these drugs. This perspective locates the histories of prescription medicines in specific sociocultural contexts while revealing the extent to which contemporary debates about pharmaceutical drugs revisit concerns expressed by Americans over the past several decades.

Contemporaries rightly regarded the 1940s and 1950s as a new chapter in the history of modern medicine. the mass manufacture of orally acting . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.