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This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America
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This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  348 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
Everything we know about drugs-from acid to epidemics to DARE and salvia-turns out to be wrongStock up on munchies and line up your water bottles: journalist Ryan Grim will take you on a cross-country tour of illicit drug use in the U.S.-from the agony (the huge DEA bust of an acid lab in an abandoned missile silo in Kansas) to the ecstasy (hallucinogens at raves and music ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by Wiley
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Rebecca McNutt
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Interesting book, mostly a collection of drug-related conspiracy theories. It felt like more detail was needed in many areas of the book, though. I enjoyed it, but a lot of it was filler and druggie jokes.
Heidi
Dec 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This is an important, sweeping history and condemnation of the War on Drugs, full of real-world anecdotes and statistics to back up the premise that every time the government or prohibition movements manage to crack down on one substance, Americans shift to using another, making "progress" in prohibition impossible. The chapters on the hypocrisy of U.S. global policy vis-à-vis U.S. drug policy to be especially thought provoking--(e.g., evidence the CIA aided and abetted opium/heroin traffickers ...more
Book
Jun 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
This Is Your Country on Drugs: The Secret History of Getting High in America by Ryan Grim

"This Is Your Country on Drugs..." is the interesting history of getting high in America. "Gonzo" journalist Ryan Grim takes us on a first person tour through many interesting topics covering the impact of policies on the drug use of Americans and why it has been an utter failure. The book is composed of following fourteen chapters: 1. The Acid Casualty, 2. A Pharmacopoeia Utopia, 3. Prohibition, Inc., 4. A
...more
Elliot
Dec 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I found the book quite interesting, particularly as a rather counter-culture version of the history of a number of different drugs, the cyclical trends of their use/popularity, and the hypocrisy and even counter-effectiveness of drug policies. However, the author desperately needs an editor. He frequently repeats himself, even with the exact same wording in examples and stories. It's almost as if he were intending to write a giant textbook in which any one section could be consulted on its own r ...more
Frrobins
Jun 04, 2014 rated it did not like it
I had to give up on this about half way through. This book lacked a thesis and, combined with the way the author would skip from topic to topic with little flow, and then randomly pick back on a dropped topic, this made reading it rather frustrating. When the author mentioned he'd gotten on prescription amphetamines just to write this book, I couldn't help but laugh and wryly think that that explained the disorganization in it.

I was also bothered by how I did not feel as though I was getting the
...more
Peter Certo
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
an excellent overview on the futility of the drug war, and a wonderful testament to the human drive to get high.

as a study of actual drug culture, the book is rather limited -- it focuses mostly on the author's excursions in various psychedelic subcultures. these are among the book's more interesting passages, but there's not much insight into drug cultures that grim himself has never participated in.

grim's day job is reporting on congress, so it's no surprise that a larger chunk of the book is
...more
HeavyReader
Jun 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-history, bookmooch
This book has a 2009 copyright, so it's missing more recent history of drugs like bath salts and "not pot" like K2. It's interesting to see the author predict drug policy (such as the illegality of salvia) and thing, yep, that happened.

It was also interesting to read about how the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. lead to increased opium use throughout the country.

The "history of getting high in America" as told here focused mostly on the 1960s on. Of course, there was information given about
...more
Elaine Nelson
People like to get f'd up...and Americans even more so. (I read a book once, a long time ago, that asserted that the Inuit (?) were the only people who didn't have a native intoxicant/psychotropic tradition, and that's only because there's nothing to make anything from.) Only touches on the early years very lightly: the now well-known (to me) fact of the early settlers' amazing drunkenness, and all that, spending much more time with the late 19th and 20th centuries.

His basic premise is that if o
...more
Johnny D
Jul 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Just before Christmas my mother sent me a website filled with extremely cheap books and asked me to send her a list of the ones I thought were interesting.

When I added this one to the list I thought for sure that my mother would ignore it and buy me something like "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" instead. Nope, she went ahead and ordered this one. And as interesting as "101 Ways to Be a Better Christian" might be, this was far better. Yes, I know, I haven't read "101 Ways to Be a Better Chris
...more
Erik
Oct 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If this subject interests you at all, you must read this book. I have read reams on the subject and this is by far the most well written and accessible I have encountered. Whereas many drug policy books are written in a scholarly, heavily footnoted format that may turn a casual reader off, Grim blends personal anecdote, interviews, and research seamlessly to create a comprehensive work that is both engaging and educational. While it took me weeks to get through Jacob Sullum's "Saying Yes" I coul ...more
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