The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business


The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business From a leading expert on addiction, a provocative, singularly authoritative history of how sophisticated global businesses have targeted the human brain s reward centers, driving us to addictions ranging from oxycodone to Big Macs to Assassin s Creed to Snapchat with alarming social consequencesWe live in an age of addiction, from compulsive gaming and shopping to binge eating and opioid abuse Sugar can be as habit forming as cocaine, researchers tell us, and social media apps are hooking our kids But what can we do to resist temptations that insidiously and deliberately rewire our brains Nothing, David Courtwright says, unless we understand the history and character of the global enterprises that create and cater to our bad habits The Age of Addiction chronicles the triumph of what Courtwright calls limbic capitalism, the growing network of competitive businesses targeting the brain pathways responsible for feeling, motivation, and long term memory We see its success in Purdue Pharma s pain pills, in McDonald s engineered burgers, and in Tencent video games from China All capitalize on the ancient quest to discover, cultivate, and refine new and habituating pleasures The business of satisfying desire assumed a sinister aspect with the rise of long distance trade, plantation slavery, anonymous cities, large corporations, and sophisticated marketing Multinational industries, often with the help of complicit governments and criminal organizations, have multiplied and cheapened seductive forms of brain reward, from junk food to pornography The internet has brought new addictions in , the World Health Organization added gaming disorder to its International Classification of DiseasesCourtwright holds out hope that limbic capitalism can be contained by organized opposition from across the political spectrum Progressives, nationalists, and traditionalists have made common cause against the purveyors of addiction before They could do it again ☉ [PDF / Epub] ☆ Book Lover By Jennifer Kaufman ❤ – 9facts.co.uk a provocative ❮Epub❯ ➣ Secret Delivery / Her 24-Hour Protector ➢ Author Delores Fossen – 9facts.co.uk singularly authoritative history of how sophisticated global businesses have targeted the human brain s reward centers [BOOKS] ⚣ Kholodovs Last Mistress Author Kate Hewitt – 9facts.co.uk driving us to addictions ranging from oxycodone to Big Macs to Assassin s Creed to Snapchat with alarming social consequencesWe live in an age of addiction ➿ Wicked Sinner (Regency Sinners 7) Gratuit ➶ Auteur Carole Mortimer – 9facts.co.uk from compulsive gaming and shopping to binge eating and opioid abuse Sugar can be as habit forming as cocaine ❮Read❯ ➪ If the Stiletto Fits... Author Wendy Etherington – 9facts.co.uk researchers tell us [PDF] ✑ What Phoebe Wants (Harlequin Flipside, By Cindi Myers – 9facts.co.uk and social media apps are hooking our kids But what can we do to resist temptations that insidiously and deliberately rewire our brains Nothing [Download] ➵ Ruthlessly Royal (Self-Made Millionaires Author Robyn Donald – 9facts.co.uk David Courtwright says [PDF] ✍ An Amish Family Christmas ✸ Marta Perry – 9facts.co.uk unless we understand the history and character of the global enterprises that create and cater to our bad habits The Age of Addiction chronicles the triumph of what Courtwright calls limbic capitalism ❰Read❯ ➭ Interrupted Lullaby Author Dana R. Lynn – 9facts.co.uk the growing network of competitive businesses targeting the brain pathways responsible for feeling [EPUB] ✷ Gift-Wrapped Governess By Sophia James – 9facts.co.uk motivation [Read] ➬ Vows of Revenge ➵ Dani Collins – 9facts.co.uk and long term memory We see its success in Purdue Pharma s pain pills ❰Read❯ ➵ Not a Fairy Tale Author Romy Sommer – 9facts.co.uk in McDonald s engineered burgers [PDF / Epub] ✅ The Midwife and the Single Dad By Gill Sanderson – 9facts.co.uk and in Tencent video games from China All capitalize on the ancient quest to discover [Reading] ➷ Small-Town Billionaire ➭ Renee Andrews – 9facts.co.uk cultivate ❰Read❯ ➲ A Convenient Marriage Author Maggie Cox – 9facts.co.uk and refine new and habituating pleasures The business of satisfying desire assumed a sinister aspect with the rise of long distance trade ➵ [Read] ➱ A French Pirouette By Jennifer Bohnet ➿ – 9facts.co.uk plantation slavery [EPUB] ✻ The Doctors Courageous Bride Author Dianne Drake – 9facts.co.uk anonymous cities ➳ [Reading] ➶ The Demure Miss Manning By Amanda McCabe ➩ – 9facts.co.uk large corporations ➹ [Read] ➵ Her Christmas Guardian Protective Instincts By Shirlee McCoy ➼ – 9facts.co.uk and sophisticated marketing Multinational industries ❰PDF / Epub❯ ☃ The Singalong Society for Singletons Author Katey Lovell – 9facts.co.uk often with the help of complicit governments and criminal organizations ❰Read❯ ➲ The Bodyguard Author Rhonda Nelson – 9facts.co.uk have multiplied and cheapened seductive forms of brain reward ☄ [PDF / Epub] ☃ A Doctor for the Nanny By Leigh Bale ✓ – 9facts.co.uk from junk food to pornography The internet has brought new addictions in [PDF] ✪ Sex, Lies and Designer Shoes By Kimberly Van Meter – 9facts.co.uk the World Health Organization added gaming disorder to its International Classification of DiseasesCourtwright holds out hope that limbic capitalism can be contained by organized opposition from across the political spectrum Progressives ❧ Cinderella And The Ceo free download ➛ Author Susan Meier – 9facts.co.uk nationalists ❴BOOKS❵ ✬ The Single Dads Marriage Wish Author Carol Marinelli – 9facts.co.uk and traditionalists have made common cause against the purveyors of addiction before They could do it again


About the Author: David T. Courtwright

David Courtwright is known for his books on drug use and drug policy in American and world history Dark Paradise, Addicts Who Survived, and Forces of Habit and for his books on the special problems of frontier environments Violent Land and Sky as Frontier His most recent book, No Right Turn, chronicles the tumultuous politics and surprising outcome of the culture war that engulfed America in the four decades after Nixon s 1968 election.Courtwright lives in Jacksonville, Florida, and teaches history at the University of North Florida, where he is Presidential Professor He was educated at the University of Kansas and at Rice University.Photo credit David Wilson



10 thoughts on “The Age of Addiction: How Bad Habits Became Big Business

  1. Aloke Aloke says:

    Lots of gripping bits but somehow ends up less than the sum of its parts.

  2. Madalene Madalene says:

    Minor spoiler at the very end of my review Disappointed overall I thought based on the blurb that this would be a book about the current limbic capitalism system and how companies work to capture eyeballs and clicks in the 21st century But it is not 3 4 of the book is a history of addiction, including long swaths about opium, cigarettes and porn The last 1 4 covers some newer parts of the addiction landscape, but spends so much time trying to give a balanced perspective on those who consi Minor spoiler at the very end of my review Disappointed overall I thought based on the blurb that this would be a book about the current limbic capitalism system and how companies work to capture eyeballs and clicks in the 21st century But it is not 3 4 of the book is a history of addiction, including long swaths about opium, cigarettes and porn The last 1 4 covers some newer parts of the addiction landscape, but spends so much time trying to give a balanced perspective on those who consider addiction a medical issue vs those who think it s a matter of personal freedom and or behavior that I was left not feeling like I learned very much The one item that I was pleased to learn is the warnings by clergy when chess first became popular that this represented addictive behavior that was warping the minds of young men Fair point on our changing perspective

  3. Kavi Naidu Kavi Naidu says:

    This is one of those books that everyone should read It illuminates how we have become a society of abundance and indulgence, and how a vast system has exploited the way our brains work to create pleasures our ancestors could never have dreamed of.

  4. Ryosuke Ryosuke says:

    Read it for research at first, but inevitably ended up binging it for pleasure.A very intriguing book that argues that modern day neoliberal capitalism limbic capitalism has advanced so far that companies have devised sophisticated techniques to get consumers completely hooked on their products, whether it be tobacco, pornography, online gaming, social media, and so on To varying degrees, the majority of their revenue comes from a minority of people who consume these vices in excess, the Read it for research at first, but inevitably ended up binging it for pleasure.A very intriguing book that argues that modern day neoliberal capitalism limbic capitalism has advanced so far that companies have devised sophisticated techniques to get consumers completely hooked on their products, whether it be tobacco, pornography, online gaming, social media, and so on To varying degrees, the majority of their revenue comes from a minority of people who consume these vices in excess, the so called Pareto principle But Courtwright is by no means an anti capitalist and doesn t support prohibition Instead, he pushes for a middle ground to tackle excessive consumption through real substantive policies, mainly prevention instead ofbusiness friendly measures like addiction treatment and education He has no issue with people consuming these products in moderation.In line with one of his descriptive arguments that concepts of addiction came to be applied to non substances later in the twentieth century, the book starts by focusing on the history of alcohol and drugs and gradually moves ontomodern day concerns MMORPGs like Everquest and World of Warcraft has taken over the lives of gamers all over the world, with one study indicating that up to around 20% of young people in China are addicted to gaming Your Facebook and Instagram feed provides immediate gratification overeffortful hobbies like reading, learning to play an instrument, sports, and so on As a smoker, the book has quite obvious implications for me But as I thoughtabout what I do in my free time, mainly wasting it by watching endless numbers of youtube videos that mean little to nothing to me in the long term, The Age of Addiction has becomemeaningful than a lot of other books out there written by academic historians The author should be commended for producing a narrative that is truly global, containing cases from not just Europe and North America but also Asia, Africa, and Latin America His effort to expand the historical interest in intoxicating substances, spanning from sugar and coffee to heroin and crack cocaine, towardsbehavioural addictions like web surfing and masturbation, is something that I myself wholeheartedly agree with in terms of where the field should head towards The biggest surprise was his fair treatment of scientific approaches to addiction, especially in his chapter on food and overeating My only gripe with the book, and this is probably because of publishing conventions, is that it can haverobust numbers of footnotes, but I m reading this also as an academic researcher.Regardless, without a doubt one of the most memorable nonfiction reads Highly recommended, even for those generally unacquainted with reading history, popular science, and economics

  5. Clayton Keenon Clayton Keenon says:

    The first half is a history of addictive behaviors It s interesting, but a lot of details that might bog people down The second half is a sobering look at the cultural, economic, and technological dynamics that lead to widespread issues of excessive consumption and addiction The idea of limbic capitalism gives a name to a massive feature of our society while shedding light on our individual, daily experience This book is worth reading.

  6. Ben Rogers Ben Rogers says:

    Very interesting3 5

  7. Connor Elliot Connor Elliot says:

    Have a coffee, smoke a cigarette, listen to some music, scarf down a chocolate bar and read this.

  8. Aseem Juneja Aseem Juneja says:

    This should be named History of Addiction instead of its current name..Too many useless details.

  9. Eric Eric says:

    Courtwright s book is an interesting historical survey of the reality of addiction Going back hundreds of years, he traces how businesses have used the human quest for pleasure, and the increasing desire to escape the burdensome realities of human existence, as a means of making profit a profit taken regardless of the toll upon increasing numbers of human lives who fall into addiction and ultimately to death and destruction After several chapters of historical review, Limbic Capitalism is des Courtwright s book is an interesting historical survey of the reality of addiction Going back hundreds of years, he traces how businesses have used the human quest for pleasure, and the increasing desire to escape the burdensome realities of human existence, as a means of making profit a profit taken regardless of the toll upon increasing numbers of human lives who fall into addiction and ultimately to death and destruction After several chapters of historical review, Limbic Capitalism is described in great detail, with examples of some of the greatest threats to 21st century existence social media, gaming, gambling, food, pornography and opioids which are tearing apart lives and dulling human cognition at alarming rates, especially among our children.This book is a sobering pun intended read about a major social challenge which cuts across all class and social distinctions Limbic Capitalism will ultimately implode upon itself as greater numbers of human lives are destroyed but in the meantime, it is an economic powerhouse that, without major social intervention, will continue to grow and lead to societal decay We should all be alarmed and ready to make major changes if we want to halt the spread of this social disease

  10. Ian Goodrich Ian Goodrich says:

    This book is a history of addiction and vice well, vices It takes us from tobacco and alcohol, to contemporary habit forming practices such as Instagram and slot machine gambling Its central thesis is that we live in an age of limbic capitalism , wherein big business having triumphed over prohibitionists of most stripes promotes and pushes a dazzling array of substances and practices, utilising marketing and processes that engage our deep and addiction prone impulses.Whilst its core a This book is a history of addiction and vice well, vices It takes us from tobacco and alcohol, to contemporary habit forming practices such as Instagram and slot machine gambling Its central thesis is that we live in an age of limbic capitalism , wherein big business having triumphed over prohibitionists of most stripes promotes and pushes a dazzling array of substances and practices, utilising marketing and processes that engage our deep and addiction prone impulses.Whilst its core argument really resonated and provides an excellent lens on contemporary capitalism, and the historical component felt convincing and well researched, I came away a little disappointed in the end I guess I was expecting a littleof a deep dive on contemporary practices and potentially avoidance strategies , which comprised only a small portion of the book I also felt that whilst touched on,attention could have been paid to the negative consequences of prohibition, with greater emphasis on regulatory frameworks that ve been successful in reducing harms whilst avoiding the nurturing of black markets.Would recommend, but perhaps wasn t quite the book I was looking for

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