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The Fantasy of Addiction

I never meant to start an argument about addiction. I had carried my private doubts on the subject around in my head for years, in the “heresy” section where I keep my really risky thoughts. And I don’t recommend disagreeing in public with Hollywood royalty, either, which is how it happened. . . . . Continue Reading »

Spirit for the Ages

Gin: The Manual by david broom mitchell beazley, 224 pages, $19.99 Britain’s two national drinks—beer and gin—have both undergone a revival in the last decade. Twenty years ago, if you drove through Kent, you would see them plowing up the hop fields. No one, it was thought, would ever want to . . . . Continue Reading »

Saving Willy Loman

The focus on the increase in death rates for white Americans between ages 45-54 in the media obscures equally troubling results in Anne Case and Angus Deaton’s recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife . . . . Continue Reading »

Shaken not Smoked

Marijuana is becoming more socially acceptable and legally available. It would seem that a majority of Americans are in favor of decriminalizing the recreational use of pot, and the Department of Justice has advised federal prosecutors that possession of a small amount of it is not an . . . . Continue Reading »

The Language of Addiction Takes Over

There was a period, shortly before the Bolshevik Revolution, when the history of the Russian temperance movement became thoroughly intertwined with the history of Russian social reform in general. “The history of the Russian temperance movement” may sound like a world’s-shortest-book joke, . . . . Continue Reading »

Religion in the Unheavenly City

Half a mile, not more, separates 50th Street and Park Avenue in central Manhattan from the northwest corner of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue. But the two points mark the antipodes of New York City’s axis of religious dedication: to timelessness at one pole, to change at the other. On the 50th . . . . Continue Reading »

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