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High Price: A Neuroscientist's Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know about Drugs and Societyby Carl Hart
Synopses & Reviews
A pioneering neuroscientist shares his story of growing up in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods and how it led him to his groundbreaking work in drug addiction.
As a youth, Carl Hart didn't realize the value of school; he studied just enough to stay on the basketball team. At the same time, he was immersed in street life. Today he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist—Columbia University's first tenured African American professor in the sciences—whose landmark, controversial research is redefining our understanding of addiction.
In this provocative and eye-opening memoir, he recalls his journey of self-discovery and weaves his past and present. Hart goes beyond the hype of the antidrug movement as he examines the relationship among drugs, pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs, and explain why current policies are failing.
Though Hart escaped neighborhoods that were dominated by entrenched poverty and the knot of problems associated with it, he has not turned his back on his roots. Determined to make a difference, he tirelessly applies his scientific research to help save real lives. But balancing his former street life with his achievements today has not been easy—a struggle he reflects on publicly for the first time.
A powerful story of hope and change, of a scientist who has dedicated his life to helping others, High Price will alter the way we think about poverty, race, and addiction—and how we can effect change.
"Combining memoir, popular science, and public policy, Hart's study lambasts current drug laws as draconian and repressive, arguing that they're based more on assumptions about race and class than on a real understanding of the physiological and societal effects of drugs. Growing up in a poor, predominantly African-American neighborhood in Miami in the 1970s and '80s, Hart, now a Columbia University neuroscientist, was rarely encouraged to excel academically, and he was too often witness to institutional racism and violence in his own community. Still, despite its deprivations, this background also gave Hart certain advantages later in life, such as a more empathetic relationship with the subjects of his studies on the effects of crack cocaine and other drugs and a more realistic view of what role such drugs actually play in society. Central to his work is the idea that addiction is actually a combination of physiological and social factors, and the use of drugs does not itself lead to violence and crime. Drug laws, he argues, place minorities into a 'vicious cycle of incarceration and isolation,' and the most rational policy choice would be decriminalization of all such substances. His is a provocative clarion call for students of sociology and policy-makers alike. Photos. Agent: Marc Gerald and Sasha Raskin, the Agency Group. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
High Price is the harrowing and inspiring memoir of neuroscientist Carl Hart, a man who grew up in one of Miamis toughest neighborhoods and, determined to make a difference as an adult, tirelessly applies his scientific training to help save real lives.
Young Carl didn't see the value of school, studying just enough to keep him on the basketball team. Today, he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist—Columbia Universitys first tenured African American professor in the sciences—whose landmark, controversial research is redefining our understanding of addiction.
In this provocative and eye-opening memoir, Dr. Carl Hart recalls his journey of self-discovery, how he escaped a life of crime and drugs and avoided becoming one of the crack addicts he now studies. Interweaving past and present, Hart goes beyond the hype as he examines the relationship between drugs and pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs, and explain why current policies are failing.
About the Author
A recognized master of mystery and spinetingling suspense, Carolyn Hart has written four previous Henrie O mysteries: Dead Man's Island(an Agatha Award winner). Scandal in Fair Haven (nominated for both an Agatha and Macavity Award), Death in Lover's Lane, and Death in Paradise. She has been nominated for and has won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards for the books in her popular Death on Demand series, and is one of the founders of Sisters in Crime. Mrs. Hart lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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