Trysh Travis, a cultural and literary historian, is associate professor of women's studies in the Center for Women's Studies and Gender Research at the University of Florida. She is the author of The Language of the Heart: A Cultural History of the Recovery Movement from Alcoholics Anonymous to Oprah Winfrey. She helped to found and now edits Points: the Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society.
Purdue Pharma, Allergan, Johnson & Johnson, et al have taken the scheming villains role that the liquor interests used to play in Progressive Era temperance melodramas. Those narratives have always left me cold, because, you knowmoral complexity? Character development? Attention to context? Codependence has all of that in spades, so when it arrived in my mailbox, I felt lucky that I could call her up and ask how did you do it?