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A history of the political, moral, and ideological influences shaping drug rehabilitation and treatment programs in postwar America.

In the 1960s, as illegal drug use grew from a fringe issue to a pervasive public concern, a new industry arose to treat the addiction epidemic. Over the next five decades, the industry's leaders promised to rehabilitate the casualties of the drug culture even as incarceration rates for drug-related offenses climbed. In this history of addiction treatment, Claire D. Clark traces the political shift from the radical communitarianism of the 1960s to the conservatism of the Reagan era, uncovering the forgotten origins of today's recovery movement.

Academic Reviews

“Clark writes with an engaging style...this fascinating text should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the history and social-political context in which SA [substance abuse] treatment evolved.”- PsycCritiques

“[The Recovery Revolution] will remain an invaluable guide. . . . A persuasive account that is in equal measure interesting, provocative, and informative.”- The American Historical Review

“Clark’s meticulous research is matched by her impressive mastery of health policy, past and present, and her study is a valuable contribution not only for historians, but also for policy-makers.”- Journal of Social History

"The Recovery Revolution is a well-researched review of the development of modern drug treatment programs in the United States." Choice

“Just as some histories support the idea that the uses and effects of drugs are socially constructed, Clark offers good evidence that sobriety and recovery too can be made by humans. “-  Medical History

"Scholars and policy makers interested in the history of addiction will find much that is helpful in this concise, well-written, and expertly researched book."- Journal of American History

“[Post-war American drug policy] is difficult terrain, and Clark is a reliable guide.” - Social History of Medicine


Distillations, the Science History Institute’s podcast, parts 1, 2, and 3

Interview, Nursing Clio

Interview, Points: The Blog of the Alcohol and Drugs History Society

Op-ed, Made by History, The Washington Post