Dope Girls: The Birth of the British Drug Underground
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Overview: As entertaining as it is enlightening, Dope Girls vividly records the scandals and moral panics in Britain that followed the end of the First World War, as drug use-especially of morphine and cocaine-was transformed into a national menace. The cast of characters includes Billie Carleton, a West End musical actress, whose highly publicized death from an overdose in 1918 fueled public anxiety; Brilliant Chang, a Chinese restaurant proprietor; and Edgar Manning, a jazz drummer from Jamaica-identified as the villains of the affair and invested with a highly charged sexual menace. Around them swirled a raffish group of seedy and rebellious hedonists. Britain was horrified and enthralled-the drug problem was born, amid a gush of exotic tabloid detail. A cult classic in Britain, Dope Girls remains both timely and instructive.
Genre: Non-Fiction > History