Rated “SA”? Jack Valenti and the Skirmish Over Movie Ratings in the Reagan Era

What is inspiring the relaxation of social mores regarding marijuana use? Today, theories abound. Perhaps anti-marijuana laws are too expensive to enforce. Or: a growing number of Americans have tried marijuana, and consequently, come to view its health effects as relatively benign. According to Nancy Reagan’s supporters in the mid-1980s, one driving force for potContinue reading “Rated “SA”? Jack Valenti and the Skirmish Over Movie Ratings in the Reagan Era”

The Points Interview — Kathleen J. Frydl

Editor’s Note: Kathleen Frydl’s new book, The Drug Wars in America, 1940-1973, is just out from Cambridge University Press. Points welcomes her timely and enlightening interview.  1.  Describe your book in terms your bartender could understand. I tell the story of how and why the US government became “addicted” to the modern drug war, choosingContinue reading “The Points Interview — Kathleen J. Frydl”

The Points Interview — Edgar-André Montigny

Editor’s Note:  Edgar-André Montigny’s edited volume, The Real Dope: Social, Legal, and Historial Perspectives on the Regulation of Drugs in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2011) takes the spotlight today. 1.  Describe your book in terms your bartender would understand. The Real Dope is a collection of scholarly articles exploring how the government and society inContinue reading “The Points Interview — Edgar-André Montigny”

Special report: Addiction treatment growing as a financial investment

Editor’s Note: Today, we’re pleased to welcome Alison Knopf, editor of the Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly, as a first-time Points guest blogger.   We’re republishing, with her kind permission, her article on addiction treatment as big business, which first appeared at A&DAW on November 5th, 2012.  Several interesting issues raised in this piece, we thought, will merit further discussion among our readership. Continue reading “Special report: Addiction treatment growing as a financial investment”

The Wire at Ten: Carlo Rotella, “The Case Against ‘Kojak Liberalism'”

Editor’s Note: The first guest blogger in our series “The Wire at Ten” is Carlo Rotella, noted scholar, public intellectual, playground point guard, and, not incidentally, Director of American Studies at Boston College.  (Full disclosure: he was a couple years ahead of me in graduate school.) A regular contributor to the New York Times MagazineContinue reading “The Wire at Ten: Carlo Rotella, “The Case Against ‘Kojak Liberalism’””

Monetize the Blog!

Gentle readers, if  you felt a pang go through you when you read yesterday that co-founder and co-managing editor Joe Spillane was stepping down from his lofty perch at Points, you were not alone.  The blog has gained both maturity and momentum in the last eight months, and those have brought stability to our day-to-dayContinue reading “Monetize the Blog!”

Magic Trip’s Druggy Sixties Origin Story (or, Why Historians Should Think About Selling Out)

When people tell me the 1960s aren’t history, I try to convince them otherwise by describing the process of transcribing decades-old audio from a reel-to-reel tape player. Gingerly string the tape onto the player and try to avoid mangling a piece of history. Miss a word and a say a prayer that the tape doesn’tContinue reading “Magic Trip’s Druggy Sixties Origin Story (or, Why Historians Should Think About Selling Out)”

“So Logical to Us”: Donna Krulitz Smith’s Account of the Complex and Compelling Story of the Prohibition Experience in Northern Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Mining District

A superb 2004 master’s thesis completed in the University of Idaho’s history department by Donna Krulitz Smith examines how prohibition – first at the statewide level, imposed on January 1, 1916, and later, nationwide prohibition, imposed on January 17, 1920 – played out in the rough-and-ready environs of the Coeur d’Alene Mining District of Idaho’s northern panhandle.(1)Continue reading ““So Logical to Us”: Donna Krulitz Smith’s Account of the Complex and Compelling Story of the Prohibition Experience in Northern Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene Mining District”

This is Your Brain on Art House

When I’ve asked my students over the last couple of years what drug films they’ve seen, I’ve been surprised to hear Darren Aronofsky’s Requiem for a Dream (2000) cited far more than any other film. I already had a sense of Requiem’s expanding audience since its limited theatrical release in 2000. It quickly joined itsContinue reading “This is Your Brain on Art House”

Dry Pushback Against Mann’s Alcoholism Movement and Robert King Merton’s Manifest and Latent Functions: A Perplexing Combination

  Cross’s church in Berkeley My thinking on this post started off in one direction and then suddenly veered into another direction entirely.  As you’ll see. My original plan was simply to recount a triangular correspondence involving Laurance L. Cross, Harry Emerson Fosdick, and Marty Mann that occurred in 1947.  Their letters to one another captured a telling instanceContinue reading “Dry Pushback Against Mann’s Alcoholism Movement and Robert King Merton’s Manifest and Latent Functions: A Perplexing Combination”

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