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Award-winning author and investigative journalist Sam Quinones joins Kate Wolf and Medaya Ocher to discuss his latest book, The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth. The book charts the sweeping, shocking rise of synthetic drugs in the United States, and their production here, by corporations such as Purdue Pharma, as well as in labs in Mexico and China. The proliferation of so-called “designer drugs” has led to yet another wave of the opiate crisis, with more overdose deaths between the spring of 2020 and 2021 than ever before recorded. The Least of Us tells the personal stories behind many of these casualties, the larger political and socioeconomic shifts that have exacerbated the problem, the fascinating and disturbing history of the emergence of fentanyl and methamphetamine, and what some communities are doing to fight against the drugs’ devastation.
Also, Anna Della Subin, author of Accidental Gods: On Men Unwittingly Turned Divine, drops by to recommend Jason Josephson Storm’s The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences.