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School of History and Sociology

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Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    The amphetamine years: a study of the medical applications and extramedical consumption of psychostimulant drugs in the postwar united states, 1945-1980
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2009-11-16) Moon, Nathan William
    The Amphetamine Years is a history of psychostimulant drugs and their clinical applications in post-World War II American medicine. Comprising such well-known substances as the amphetamines (Benzedrine, Dexedrine), methylphenidate (Ritalin), and phenmetrazine (Preludin), this class of pharmaceuticals has been among the most widely consumed in the past half-century. Their therapeutic uses for a variety of indications such as depression, obesity, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, not to mention their relevance for a number of different medical specialties, reveals that psychostimulants have occupied an important, if underappreciated role in the practice of modern medicine. In this dissertation, I illuminate the various ways in which physicians, particularly psychiatrists, put these drugs to work in clinical practice. In short, I contend that physicians exploited the wide range of physiological and psychological effects of psychostimulants and made a place for them in different therapeutic settings, even ones characterized by competing views and theories about the workings of the human body and mind. My dissertation is distinguished by two prominent themes. First, I emphasize the clinician perspective as a vehicle for understanding the history of the psychostimulants, as well as related developments in psychiatry, pharmacotherapy, and the political economy of drugs, in the second half of the twentieth century. Scholars such Nicolas Rasmussen, David Courtwright, and Ilina Singh have elucidated the history of psychostimulants by emphasizing how pharmaceutical companies positioned their products in the medical marketplace. My dissertation takes a different, yet complimentary approach by studying clinicians, themselves, to further historical comprehension of the place of these pharmaceuticals within postwar medicine, society, and culture. Second, I advance the concept of "therapeutic versatility" to explain their historical trajectories. The complex set of psychological and physical effects these drugs produced made them ideal for a diverse range of therapeutic applications, which explains why they were embraced by many different medical specialties, why they were marketed by manufacturers for a variety of indications, and why they have enjoyed an enduring therapeutic lifespan, in spite of increasing efforts since the mid-1960s to regulate their availability and control their consumption. In addition to these two overarching themes, I advance five specific arguments in my dissertation. First, I contend that pharmaceutical markets were simultaneously created by the drug industry and clinicians. Pharmaceutical firms' efforts to develop markets for their products have been well documented by historians, but in my dissertation, I underscore the role also played by clinicians in discerning drugs' applications. Second, I argue that twentieth-century psychiatry's conception of illness and therapeutics may not be served best by strictly dividing its history along lines of institutional and outpatient treatment. Third, I demonstrate how the use of psychostimulants by analytically oriented psychiatrists during the 1950s complicates historical notions of paradigm shift from a psychodynamic to biological orientation. Psychotherapy and psychopharmacology were not competing paradigms; in practice, doctors often employed both. Fourth, I assert that an appreciation of psychiatrists' empirical and eclectic approaches to the use of drugs is necessary to comprehend the rise of psychiatric pharmacotherapy in the postwar era. Finally, I contend that in order to understand the relationship between medical applications of psychostimulants and their extramedical consumption, it is necessary to conceive of a plurality of distinct "amphetamine cultures," each characterized by a unique set of relationships between physician-prescribers, patient-consumers, pharmaceutical firms, and political authorities.
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    American Publishers of Indecent Books, 1840-1890
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2005-11-28) Hawley, Elizabeth Haven
    American publishers of indecent books from 1840 to 1890 were not outsiders to the printing trades. They should be seen instead as entrepreneurs whose technological practices and business strategies were largely representative of the diversity within American publishing. Books prohibited or later destroyed because of their content survived in a relatively wide variety of forms in the hands of rare book collectors, making such artifacts perhaps even more important for the study of industrial practices than literary works collected in greater numbers by research institutions. Those rare artifacts make available long-lost details about the men and women who manufactured print at the boundaries of social propriety, the production technologies they employed, and the place of difficult-to-research publishers in the American book trades. Conservation, papermaking, illustrations, printing, and typefounding are as important to the history of American erotica as the more famous prosecutions led by Anthony Comstock. Focusing on works considered indecent by the nineteenth-century bibliographer Henry Spencer Ashbee, this dissertation integrates the political economy of print with an analysis of the material forms of semi-erotic and obscene books. Surviving artifacts offer evidence about regional production styles and the ways that fiber selection, and particularly the use of straw in low-quality papers, influenced the prevalence of yellow wrappers for ephemeral works. Printer skill levels and capitalization can sometimes be determined through the presence of gripper marks on printed sheets. Reconstructing and contextualizing the technological practices of these publishers can create new tools for bibliographical analysis, an accessible source of information about technical processes for general historians, and a wealth of data about publishers such as William Berry, whose role in networks of erotica in nineteenth-century America has only recently begun to be appreciated.
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    Women shaping shelter
    (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2004-06-01) Sharp, Leslie N.