June 24, 2021 – Patrick Radden Keefe, who provides the quote above, explains the whole epic shit storm of disgrace in his new book, Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty. Keefe is an award-winning New Yorker writer who has previously put out other critically acclaimed works, such as the Orwell Prize-winning, Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (2019) and, The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream (2010).

The first thing the reader wants to know is what Keefe can add to the, by now, broadly covered investigations and revelations about Purdue Pharma’s dishonesty in marketing Oxycontin, ignoring critics of their willful disregard of facts, and turning millions of Americans into dope addicts in the largest epidemic of its kind in American history. Keefe has an answer. He tells the reader that his interest in the Oxycontin story was inspired by the 2016 Los Angeles Timesreporting on the crisis, as well as his readings of Sam Quinones’ Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic (2015), and Barry Meier’s, Pain Killer: The Extraordinary and True Story of Oxycontin (2003) — available for reading at Archive.Org.

But Keefe was after a different angle.  He wanted to pursue the secret life of the Sackler family, the rise of their dynasty, and the internal moral integrity of their decision-making over generations. The mentality, more than the material. Keefe writes…



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