Patrick Radden Keefe
AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER and EDITORS' CHOICE * WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST FOR NON-FICTION * J. ANTHONY LUKAS BOOK PRIZE FINALIST * A BARACK OBAMA FAVOURITE BOOK OF THE YEAR A devastating portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, whose fortune was built on Valium and whose reputation was destroyed by OxyContin, by the prize-winning, bestselling author of Say Nothing.The Sackler name adorns the walls of many storied institutions—Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the richest families in the world, but the source of the family fortune was vague—until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for making and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis. Empire of Pain is the saga of three generations of a single family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that moves from the bustling streets of early twentieth-century Brooklyn to the seaside palaces of Greenwich, Connecticut and Cap d’Antibes to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C. It follows the family’s early success with Valium to the much more potent OxyContin, marketed with a ruthless technique of co-opting doctors, influencing the FDA, and downplaying the drug’s addictiveness. Empire of Pain chronicles the multiple investigations of the Sacklers and their company, and the scorched-earth legal tactics that the family has used to evade accountability. A masterpiece of narrative reporting, Empire of Pain is a ferociously compelling study of impunity among the super-elite and a relentless investigation of the naked greed that built one of the world’s great fortunes.