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Empire of pain : the secret history of the Sackler dynasty / Patrick Radden Keefe.

Presents a portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, who built their fortune on the sale of Valium and later sponsored the creation and marketing of one of the most commonly prescribed and addictive painkillers of the opioid crisis.
The Sacklers are one of the richest families in the world, known for their lavish donations to the arts and the sciences. The source of the family fortune was vague, however, until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis. Keefe begins with the three doctor brothers, Raymond, Mortimer and Arthur, who weathered the poverty of the Great Depression and appalling anti-Semitism. Working at a barbaric mental institution, Arthur conducted groundbreaking research into drug treatments, devised the marketing for Valium, and built the first great Sackler fortune. Forty years later the template he created to sell Valium was employed to launch a far more potent product: OxyContin. -- adapted from jacket

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780385545686
  • ISBN: 0385545681
  • Physical Description: xii, 535 pages : genealogical table ; 24 cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2021.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 453-515) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue: The taproot -- Book I Patriarch. A good name ; The asylum ; Med man ; Penicillin for the blues ; China fever ; The octopus ; The Dendur derby ; Estrangement ; Ghost marks ; To thwart the inevitability of death -- Book II Dynasty. Apollo ; Heir apparent ; Matter of Sackler ; The ticking clock ; God of dreams ; H-bomb ; Sell, sell, sell ; Ann Hedonia ; The Pablo Escobar of the new millennium ; Take the fall -- Book III Legacy. Turks ; Tamperproof ; Ambassadors ; It's a hard truth, ain't it ; Temple of greed ; Warpath ; Named defendants ; The phoenix ; Un-naming -- Afterword.
Subject: Sackler family.
Sackler, Arthur M. > Family.
Rich people > United States > Biography.
Purdue Pharma L.P.
Pharmaceutical industry > Marketing.
Pharmaceutical industry > Corrupt practices.
Genre: Family histories.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Nazareth. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity.


  • 0 current holds with 1 total copy.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Memorial Library of Nazareth and Vicinity 929.209 KEE 2021 (Text)
Bookplate: Donated by the Friends of the Library 2023
31001101911502 Adult Non Fiction Available -

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