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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by [Patrick Radden Keefe]

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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 6,766 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews

Review

New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books of the Year •One of The Washington Post's 10 Best Books of 2021 TIME Magazine 100 Must Read Books of 2021 One the Best Books of the Year: NPR, Slate, EW, Boston Globe, Goodreads, The Guardian, Town & Country, BuzzFeed, LitHub,Vulture, and more Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-FictionOne of President Obama's Favorite Books of the Year

“I read everything he writes. Every time he writes a book, I read it. Every time he writes an article, I read it … he’s a national treasure.” -
Rachel Maddow, host of MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” and author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Blowout

“An engrossing (and frequently enraging) tale of striving, secrecy and self-delusion….Keefe nimbly guides us through the thicket of family intrigues and betrayals… Even when detailing the most sordid episodes, Keefe’s narrative voice is calm and admirably restrained, allowing his prodigious reporting to speak for itself. His portrait of the family is all the more damning for its stark lucidity.” -
Jennifer Szalai,The New York Times
 
“A true tragedy in multiple acts. It is the story of a family that lost its moorings and its morals… Written with novelistic family-dynasty and family-dynamic sweep, EMPIRE OF PAIN is a pharmaceutical FORSYTHE SAGA, a book that in its way is addictive, with a page-turning forward momentum.”  -
David M. Shribman,The Boston Globe
 
“A brutal, multigenerational treatment of the Sackler family… Keefe deepens the narrative by tracing the family's ambitions and ruthless methods back to the founding patriarch, Arthur Sackler…His life might be a model for the American dream, if it hadn't arguably laid the foundations for a still-unfolding national tragedy.”  -
Brian Mann, NPR.org
 
“The opioid epidemic has killed nearly half a million Americans over the past two decades. Many of their loved ones, along with public health advocates and experts, believe that one very rich, very famous family has never fully faced the consequences for its role in those deaths. EMPIRE OF PAIN, the explosive new book by journalist Patrick Radden Keefe, is an attempt to change that — to hold the family accountable in a way that nobody has quite done before, by telling its story as the saga of a dynasty driven by arrogance, avarice and indifference to mass suffering…. Keefe marshals a large pile of evidence and deploys it with prosecutorial precision.   Keefe is a gifted storyteller who excels at capturing personalities.”
- Jonathan Cohn, The Washington Post

"
Empire of Pain reads like a real-life thriller, a page-turner, a deeply shocking dissection of avarice and calculated callousness… It is the measure of great and fearless investigative writing that it achieves retribution where the law could not….Exhaustively researched and written with grace and gravity, Empire of Pain unpeels a most terrible American scandal. You feel almost guilty for enjoying it so much."  - The Times (London)

"Keefe has a way of making the inaccessible incredibly digestible, of morphing complex stories into page-turning thrillers, and he's done it again with Empire of Pain…A scathing — but meticulously reported — takedown of the extended family behind OxyContin, widely believed to be at the root cause of our nation's opioid crisis.  It's equal parts juicy society gossip and historical record of how they built their dynasty and eventually pushed Oxy onto the market.”  -
Seija Rankin,Entertainment Weekly
 
 “An air-tight indictment of the family behind the opioid crisis….[an] impressive exposé.”
- Harriet Ryan, The Los Angeles Times

“A damning portrait of the Sacklers, the billionaire clan behind the OxyContin epidemic. If you are someone who engages in this kind of sneaky conduct, the last person you want reporting on you is Keefe….[He] has a knack for crafting lucid, readable descriptions of the sort of arcane business arrangements the Sacklers favored. He is also indefatigable….The Sackler infighting described in
Empire of Pain will surely prompt many comparisons to the HBO series Succession.”- Laura Miller, Slate

"One of the Ten Best Books of 2021"
Laura Miller, Slate

“Put simply, this book will make your blood boil….a devastating portrait of a family consumed by greed and unwilling to take the slightest responsibility or show the least sympathy for what it wrought….a highly readable and disturbing narrative.” 
- John Carreyrou,The New York Times Book Review (cover)
 
“A shocking saga… [a]tour-de-force account… [Keefe] brings to life the obsessive personalities and ferocious energy of some members…The Sacklers emerge as a shameless bunch, but Empire of Pain also poses troubling questions about the US healthcare system that permitted them to flourish.” - John Gapper, The Financial Times

“Rigorously reported and brilliantly executed Empire of Pain hones in on the family whose company developed, unleashed, and pushed the drug on Americans, pulling in billions of dollars for themselves in the process….This is an important, necessary book.” - Hillary Kelly, New York magazine

"Indefatigable investigative journalist Keefe crafts a page-turning corporate biography and jaw-dropping condemnation of the Sacklers’ amoral disregard for anything save the acquisition of power, privilege, and influence. In Keefe’s expert hands, the Sackler family saga becomes an enraging exposé of what happens when utter devotion to the accumulation of wealth is paired with an unscrupulous disregard for human health." -
Carol Haggas, Booklist

“An engrossing and deeply reported book about the Sackler family, the owners of Purdue Pharma. Their company created Oxycontin, the opioid introduced in the mid-90s that sent a wave of addiction and death across the country. Unlike previous books on the epidemic,
Empire of Pain is focused on the wildly rich, ambitious and cutthroat family that built its empire first on medical advertising and later on painkillers. In his hands, their story becomes a great American morality tale about unvarnished greed dressed in ostentatious philanthropy.” - Time Magazine, The Best Books of 2021 So Far

Amazon.com Review


Editors' pick: The true story of the Sackler family and OxyContin is
Game of Thrones-level stuff, and it’s fascinating."—Chris Schluep, Amazon Editor --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08ND91K6G
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Doubleday (April 13, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ April 13, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 8616 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 558 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 6,766 ratings

About the author

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Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at The New Yorker magazine and the author of Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, as well as two previous critically acclaimed books, The Snakehead, and Chatter. He is the recipient of the 2014 National Magazine Award for Feature Writing, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award for Reporting in 2015 and 2016, and also received a Guggenheim Fellowship. He grew up in Boston and now lives in New York.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
6,766 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 19, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 16, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2021
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Top reviews from other countries

Fang
5.0 out of 5 stars Speechless
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 6, 2021
23 people found this helpful
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Mrs. Shirley J. Stern
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhaustive expose of the Sackler Empire
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 14, 2021
18 people found this helpful
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Yorkshire Rog
4.0 out of 5 stars Great detail on a scandal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 29, 2021
15 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Speechless
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 3, 2021
15 people found this helpful
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S Riaz
5.0 out of 5 stars Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 17, 2022
7 people found this helpful
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