High Anxieties explores the history and ideological ramifications of the modern concept of addiction. Little more than a century old, the notions of "addict" as an identity and "addiction" as a disease of the will form part of the story of modernity. What is addiction? This collection of essays illuminates and refashions the term, delivering a complex and mature understanding of addiction.
Brodie and Redfield's introduction provides a roadmap for readers and situates the fascinating essays within a larger, interdisciplinary framework. Stacey Margolis and Timothy Melley's pieces grapple with the psychology of addiction. Cannon Schmitt and Marty Roth delve into the relationship between opium and the British Empire's campaign to control and stigmatize China. Robyn R. Warhol and Nicholas O. Warner examine accounts of alcohol abuse in texts as disparate as Victorian novels, Alcoholics Anonymous literature, and James Fenimore Cooper's fiction. Helen Keane scrutinizes smoking, and Maurizio Viano turns to the silver screen to trace how the representation of drugs in films has changed over time. Ann Weinstone and Marguerite Waller's essays on addiction and cyberspace cap this impressive anthology.