The Opioid Crisis Through the Lens of Government, Medicine, and the Personal

Book review: American Overdose, by Chris McGreal Book Depository A former head of the Food and Drug Adminsitration has called America’s opioid epidemic, “one of the greatest mistakes of modern medicine.” It is neither a mistake nor the kind of catastrophe born of some ghastly accident. It is a tragedy forged by the capture of medical policy by corporations and the failure of institutions in … Continue reading The Opioid Crisis Through the Lens of Government, Medicine, and the Personal

Snakes in the Church

Book review: Salvation on Sand Mountain, by Dennis Covington “Snake handling didn’t originate back in the hills somewhere. It started when people came down from the hills to discover they were surrounded by a hostile and spiritually dead culture.” At some point last year, I read an article, I think either about a preacher getting arrested or else bitten and killed, and I learned about the Southern Pentecostal groups that … Continue reading Snakes in the Church

A College Crime in Kentucky

Book review: Bluegrass: A True Story of Murder in Small-Town Kentucky, by William Van Meter (Amazon / Book Depository) After finishing Hillbilly Elegy, I was still in the mood to read about Appalachia, so Bluegrass seemed a good option to check off my reading list. I’m not sure how I found it, but I love stories from the lesser known corners of America and true crime, so in searching relevant reads in … Continue reading A College Crime in Kentucky

Appalachia and the American Dream

Book review: Hillbilly Elegy, by J.D. Vance (Amazon / Book Depository) Hillbilly Elegy is the memoir of a still-young man looking back at his childhood and his family’s migration from impoverished, seemingly hopeless Kentucky to a moderately more hopeful Ohio. But like the old Russian adage that if you try to drink your troubles away, they learn to swim, it follows here that if you … Continue reading Appalachia and the American Dream