News & Information

What We Learned from the Crack Crisis in America

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Jan 1, 2020 10:00 pm
  • 35:19

Guest: David Farber, Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of History, University of Kansas, Author of “Crack: Rock Cocaine, Street Capitalism, and the Decade of Greed” America, as you know, is in the midst of a drug crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people have overdosed on opioids in the last decade. The companies that make prescription pain killers, the pharmacies that sell them and doctors that prescribe them are being prosecuted. Local governments are clamoring for cash to make treatment available to more people with opioid addiction. Before the opioid epidemic, there was the crack epidemic. But America responded very differently to that drug crisis. Historian David Farber says the comparison is worth looking into, for what it tells us about race, poverty and our “collective inability to treat each other with decency and mercy.” (Originally aired November 21, 2019)