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The Age of Addiction

How Bad Habits Became Big Business
Written by: David T. Courtwright
Narrated by: Qarie Marshall
Length: 9 hrs and 15 mins
Categories: Business & Money, Commerce
4 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

We live in an age of addiction, from compulsive gaming and shopping to binge eating and opioid abuse. Sugar can be as habit-forming as cocaine, researchers tell us, and social media apps are hooking our kids. But what can we do to resist temptations that insidiously and deliberately rewire our brains? Nothing, David Courtwright says, unless we understand the history and character of the global enterprises that create and cater to our bad habits. 

The Age of Addiction chronicles the triumph of “limbic capitalism”, the growing network of competitive businesses targeting the brain pathways responsible for feeling, motivation, and long-term memory. We see its success in Steve Wynn’s groundbreaking casinos and Purdue Pharma’s pain pills, in McDonald’s engineered burgers and Tencent video games from China. All capitalize on the ancient quest to discover, cultivate, and refine new and habituating pleasures. 

Courtwright holds out hope that limbic capitalism can be contained by organized opposition from across the political spectrum. Progressives, nationalists, and traditionalists have worked together against the purveyors of addiction before. They could do it again.

©2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christina
  • 23-06-19

Very smart and interesting, but dense

Very thorough historical analysis, great presentation of points and arguments. Very academic, so not exactly an easy listen, requires attention. I found myself having to "rewind" in order to pick up things I had missed. The chapter about food was probably my favorite. I enjoyed the narrator's voice, but might have been a smidge too fast for the density of content.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jai A. Evans
  • 19-12-19

Good overview of historical causes of addiction.

A good overview of the causes and contibuation of addition and the economics of addiction promotion.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Joe Moore
  • 06-06-19

Warning: Liberal

You just had to get a dog in at Trump at the last minute, eh?

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kamil
  • 18-05-19

My desire to smoke cigarettes disappeared

This is probably the best investment I’ve ever made. Learning about the history of addiction, how corporations prey upon the neurological vulnerabilities of people and how instant gratification destabilises our character made me understand my addiction better.

This is not a self help book. It’s packed with knowledge and wisdom.