Ben Gore is a novelist and essayist who is between homes. He is currently at work on a book about bicycles and their meaning.
On June 17, 1971, four days after the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, Richard Nixon declared that Americas Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse, inaugurating the War on Drugs.
Horowitz and Wakefield trace the diagnosis of depression, and its distinction from sadness, back as far as Hippocrates, through Robert Burton, and on to the modern day.
A cowboy hero, lost in the modern world of the 1950s, turns outlaw and escapes a massive, high-tech posse only to be flattened by a tractor trailer hauling toilets, emblazoned with the nihilistic slogan “America Builds For . . .”