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This Is Ohio

The Overdose Crisis and the Front Lines of a New America

List Price: $26.00

September 8, 2020 | Hardcover | 304 pages | ISBN 9781640093553
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Every overdose is a policy failure. Such is the guiding element of journalist Jack Shuler’s new book, one that explores the current addiction crisis as a human rights problem fostered by poverty and inadequate health care.

Tainted drug supplies, inadequate civic responses, and prevailing negative opinions about people who use drugs, the poor, and those struggling with mental health issues lead to thousands of preventable deaths each year while politicians are slow to adopt effective policies. Putting themselves at great personal risk (and often breaking the law to do so), the brave men and women profiled in This Is Ohio–a coalition of people who use drugs, mothers, and allies–are mounting a grassroots effort to combat ineffective and often incorrect ideas about addiction and instead focus on saving lives through commonsense harm reduction policies.

Opioids are the current face of addiction, but as Shuler shows, the crisis in our midst is one that has long been fostered by income inequality, the loss of manufacturing jobs across the Rust Belt, and lack of access to health care. What is playing out in Ohio today isn’t only about opioids, but rather a decades-long economic and sociological shift in small towns all across the United States. It’s also about a larger culture of stigma at the heart of how we talk about addiction. What happens in Ohio will have ramifications felt across the nation and for decades to come.

About Jack Shuler

JACK SHULER is the author of three books, including The Thirteenth Turn: A History of the Noose. His writing has appeared in The New Republic, Pacific Standard, Christian Science Monitor, 100 Days in Appalachia, and Los Angeles Times, among other publications. He is chair of the narrative journalism program at Denison University. He lives in Ohio. Find out more at jackshulerauthor.com.

Praise

Praise for This is Ohio

Library Journal, A 2020 Title to Watch

"This impressively researched and deeply felt account does a devastating job of personalizing the failures of U.S. drug policy." --Publishers Weekly

"Jack Shuler takes us to the heart of America's overdose crisis with clear-eyed storytelling and empathic warmth for the ordinary Americans fighting against the economic and cultural abandonment that have left too many behind, or locked up. A wrenching but life-affirming book." --Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black

Praise for Calling out Liberty

"Jack Shuler's Calling Out Liberty: The Stono Slave Rebellion and the Universal Struggle for Human Rights . . . provide[s] important new insights into the struggle for liberty and equality by people of African descent in the eighteenth-century South Carolina Low Country." --Rhondda Thomas, The South Carolina Review

"[A] real contribution to the historiography of the affair by examining it in its larger Atlantic context." --Douglas Egerton, Reviews in American History

"[Shuler's] goal is not simply to understand human rights as they are currently presented, but rather to see them in their potentiality." --Illan rua Wall, Law, Culture and the Humanities

Praise for Blood and Bone

"Shuler makes clear that reconciliation is long and begins with listening and paying attention to each other's stories . . . Shuler's report paints a dark picture with glmmers of light." --Kirkus Reviews

"[P]aint[s] a vivid picture of the racially charged, tinderbox atmosphere in 1960s S.C." --Publishers Weekly

"Jack Shuler's Blood and Bone is one of the best books ever written on a southern small town. The Orangeburg Massacre had a profound effect on me as it did for so many others living in South Carolina at the time and since. The massacre has blighted the image of Orangeburg like a blister that won't heal. Shuler has written a nuanced story of Orangeburg since that bloody night. He tells all sides of the story with fairness and compassion. The people we meet in these pages are wonderful and the final chapter is spectacular. Shuler gives us a moving love song to his home town." --Pat Conroy

Praise for The Thirteenth Turn

"Richly researched and beautifully written, this is an essential history of our country, as seen through one homely, terrifying object." --The Boston Globe

"The Thirteenth Turn is a finely tuned study of a peculiar tragedy that shadows the triumph of what it means to be an American." --The Washington Post

"The Thirteenth Turn is history that is rendered with the narrative drive of a page-turning novel. Jack Shuler is an immensely talented writer, and he has given a human face to one of America's most disturbing symbols." --Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of The Cove

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