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Penguin Canada Fall 2022

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    9780593413609 Downloadable audio file
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: Not yet available On Sale Date: Jan 17, 2023 Carton Quantity: 24
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The Urge
Our History of Addiction
By (author): Carl Erik Fisher
Carl Erik Fisher

Imprint:

Penguin Canada

ISBN:

9780735237025

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Trade
Paperback , Trade
English

Audience:

General / adult
Jan 17, 2023
$24.00 CAD
Forthcoming

Dimensions:

8.44in x 5.5 in | 0.81 lb

Page Count:

400 pages

Illustrations:

19 B&W PHOTOS THROUGHOUT
Penguin Canada
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Addiction
An authoritative, illuminating, and deeply humane history of addiction—a phenomenon that remains baffling and deeply misunderstood despite having touched countless lives—by an addiction psychiatrist striving to understand his own family and himself.

As a psychiatrist-in-training fresh from medical school, Fisher was soon face-to-face with his own addiction crisis, one that nearly cost him everything. Desperate to make sense of the condition that had plagued his family for generations, he turned to the history of addiction, learning that the current quagmire is only the latest iteration of a centuries-old story: humans have struggled to define, treat, and control addictive behavior for most of recorded history, including well before the advent of modern science and medicine.



A rich, sweeping history that probes not only medicine and science but also literature, religion, philosophy, and sociology, The Urge illuminates the extent to which the story of addiction has persistently reflected broader questions of what it means to be human and care for one another. Fisher introduces us to the people who have endeavored to address this complex condition through the ages: physicians and politicians, activists and artists, researchers and writers, and of course the legions of people who have struggled with their own addictions. He also examines the treatments and strategies that have produced hope and relief for many people with addiction, himself included. Only by reckoning with our history of addiction, he argues—our successes and our failures—can we light the way forward for those whose lives remain threatened by its hold.



The Urge is at once an eye-opening history of ideas, a riveting personal story of addiction and recovery, and a clinician’s urgent call for a more expansive, nuanced, and compassionate view of one of society’s most intractable challenges.

UNIQUE AUTHOR BACKGROUND: A scholar, therapist specializing in addiction treatment, and recovering alcoholic, Carl Erik Fisher offers a singular perspective from which to consider the history of addiction.

SWEEPING HISTORY OF IDEAS: In an exhilarating historical journey, The Urge takes us from ancient Greece to the revolutionary era to Prohibition to the present-day opioid crisis.

AUTHORITATIVE YET INTIMATE: In integrating his own experience as an alcoholic into this broad history, Fisher constructs a moving and humane narrative that reminds us that no two experiences of addiction are alike. While this book is not prescriptive, it gives those whose lives have been touched by addiction a context for their own experience and so illuminates a path to healing.

CARL ERIK FISHER is an addiction physician and bioethicist. He is an assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, where he works in the Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry. He also maintains a private psychiatry practice focusing on complementary and integrative approaches to treating addiction. His writing has appeared in Nautilus, Slate, and Scientific American MIND, among other outlets. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his partner and son.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, New York

Author Hometown: northern New Jersey

One of The New Yorker’s “The Best Books of 2022 So Far”

“Carl Erik Fisher’s The Urge is the best-written and most incisive book I’ve read on the history of addiction. In the midst of an overdose crisis that grows worse by the hour and has vexed America for centuries, Fisher has given us the best prescription of all: understanding. He seamlessly blends a gripping historical narrative with memoir that doesn’t self-aggrandize; the result is a full-throated argument against blaming people with substance use disorder. The Urge is a propulsive tour de force that is as healing as it is enjoyable to read.”
Beth Macy, author of Dopesick
 
The Urge is an insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully written book that stands to revolutionize our understanding of one of medicine’s—and society’s—most challenging problems. Carl Erik Fisher is a masterful physician-writer who is equally attentive to the grand sweep of history and the subtleties of each individual’s experience of addiction. A remarkable achievement.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies

“Thoughtful, moving, and wonderfully informative, Carl Erik Fisher’s The Urge arrives just in time to help us, as a nation, rethink our failed war on drugs. In telling his own story, that of a young physician wrestling with both alcohol and rehab, Dr. Fisher humanizes the struggles that ensnare so many of us. Addiction, this marvelous book makes clear, is confounding, seductive, and elusive. In facing it without prejudice, we can learn a lot about ourselves.” 
—Mark Epstein, MD, author of The Trauma of Everyday Life and Advice Not Given

“Carl Erik Fisher expertly weaves his own story of addiction into a comprehensive and fascinating narrative. The Urge is an engaging read that also helps us gain a fuller picture of our own nature and how society has capitalized on it to drive addiction. Even as an addiction psychiatrist and researcher, I learned a great deal from this book.”
—Judson Brewer, MD, PhD, author of Unwinding Anxiety

The Urge is an absolutely brilliant exploration of humanity’s ever-present struggle with addiction, or what psychiatrist Carl Erik Fisher calls ‘the terrifying breakdown of reason.’ Dr. Fisher’s firsthand experience, as both a doctor and a patient, gives The Urge a layer of insight that deepens its historical focus. Readers will walk away with a nuanced grasp of the high stakes of our broken medical system and the bias baked into our understanding of addiction and mental illness in general. This book is special—as edifying as it is electrifying, as meaningful as it is humane.” 
—Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire

“This thoughtful, wise, and thoroughly researched book is sure to be a crucial contribution to our understanding of addiction—a crisis that demands a deeper, more truthful conversation.”
Johann Hari, author of Chasing the Scream

“From the beginning of The Urge, one of Fisher’s primary intentions seems to be to humanize the way we perceive addiction, suggesting that we evince empathy instead of casting blame.”
The New York Times

“Empathic and moving…. [T]he book is thorough and revealing.”
The Guardian

“In The Urge, Carl Erik Fisher offers us an eye-opening, humane and meticulously researched exploration of addiction across the ages.”
Reaction

“Arriving a time when the so-called opioid epidemic has become a defining crisis of our time, The Urge presents both the personal history of someone reckoning with mind-altering substances and an argument for a reframing of the idea of addiction.”
—Undark Magazine

“Using his own complex battle with addiction as a starting point, Fisher’s book, which took a decade to research and write, argues that understanding addiction in the present requires a detailed study of addiction in the past.”
—The Times of Israel

“Brimming with common sense and wisdom, a salmagundi of history, science, and informed opinion, The Urge should ignite the urge for invigorated conversation and debate about our current understanding and treatment of the malady you can catch from the corner dealer — or a lab-coated doctor.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books

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