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The age of anxiety; a history of America's turbulent affair with tranquilizers.


The age of anxiety; a history of America's turbulent affair with tranquilizers.

Tone, Andrea.

Basic Books


298 pages




While prescription drugs are routinely used today for managing depression and anxiety, this was not the case a half century ago. In this book, Tone (Social History of Medicine, McGill University) looks at the medicalization of mental health issues since the 1950s and at the growth of the pharmaceutical industry that fed Americans' growing reliance on drug-based solutions for stress and anxiety. Basing her account on extensive interviews and other primary sources, the author examines the question of whether increased tranquilizer use is due to higher levels of day-to-day anxiety, or whether that growth is the result of the redefinition of everyday problems as medical or psychological conditions suitable for pharmaceutical intervention. Tone's highly readable (and sometimes personal) account of the social and medical role of tranquilizers will interest many readers.

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Publication:SciTech Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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