Lucas Richert

Lucas Richert is George Urdang Chair in the History of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His many publications include Break on Through: Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture (MIT Press).

  • Cannabis

    Cannabis

    Global Histories

    Lucas Richert and James H. Mills

    Cannabis consumption, commerce, and control in global history, from the nineteenth century to the present day.

    This book gathers together authors from the new wave of cannabis histories that has emerged in recent decades. It offers case studies from Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East. It does so to trace a global history of the plant and its preparations, arguing that Western colonialism shaped and disseminated ideas in the nineteenth century that came to drive the international control regimes of the twentieth.

    More recently, the emergence of commercial interests in cannabis has been central to the challenges that have undermined that cannabis consensus. Throughout, the determination of people around the world to consume substances made from the plant has defied efforts to stamp them out and often transformed the politics and cultures of using them. These texts also suggest that globalization might have a cannabis history. The migration of consumers, the clandestine networks established to supply them, and international cooperation on control may have driven much of the interconnectedness that is a key feature of the contemporary world.

    Contributors

    Jamie Banks, James Bradford, Isaac Campos, Neil Carrier, Emily Dufton, Maziyar Ghiabi, David A. Guba Jr., Peter Hynd, Gernot Klantschnig, Haggai Ram, Ned Richardson-Little, José Domingo Schievenini, Stephen Snelders, Suzanne Taylor, Thembisa Waetjen

    • Paperback $55.00
  • Break On Through

    Break On Through

    Radical Psychiatry and the American Counterculture

    Lucas Richert

    “Antipsychiatry,” Esalen, psychedelics, and DSM III: Radical challenges to psychiatry and the conventional treatment of mental health in the 1970s.

    The upheavals of the 1960s gave way to a decade of disruptions in the 1970s, and among the rattled fixtures of American society was mainstream psychiatry. A “Radical Caucus” formed within the psychiatric profession and the “antipsychiatry” movement arose. Critics charged that the mental health establishment was complicit with the military-industrial complex, patients were released from mental institutions, and powerful antipsychotic drugs became available. Meanwhile, practitioners and patients experimented with new approaches to mental health, from primal screaming and the therapeutic use of psychedelics to a new reliance on quantification. In Break on Through, Lucas Richert investigates the radical challenges to psychiatry and to the conventional treatment of mental health that emerged in the 1970s and the lessons they offer for current debates.

    Drawing on archives and government documents, medical journals, and interviews, and interweaving references to pop (counter)culture into his account, Richert offers fascinating stories of the decade's radical mental health practices. He discusses anti–Vietnam War activism and the new diagnosis of post–traumatic stress disorder given to some veterans; the radical psychiatrists who fought the system (and each other); the entry of New Age–style therapies, including Esalen's Human Potential Movement, into the laissez-faire therapeutic marketplace of the 1970s; the development of DSM III; and the use of LSD, cannabis, and MDMA.

    Many of these issues have resonance today. Debates over medical marijuana and microdoses of psychedelics echo debates of the 1970s. With rising rates of such disorders as anxiety and depression, practitioners and patients continue to search for therapeutic breakthroughs.

    • Hardcover $26.95
    • Paperback $17.95