Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (Hardback)
  • Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (Hardback)
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Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 560 Pages / Published: 13/05/2021
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Waterstones Says

The award-winning author of Say Nothing turns his penetrating gaze to the stupendously wealthy and influential Sackler family, probing the dark and murky methods they have employed to amass their fortune. 

Winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction 2021

Shortlisted for the Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2021

The gripping and shocking story of three generations of the Sackler family and their roles in the stories of Valium and 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, known for their lavish donations in 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 Oxycontin, a blockbuster painkiller that was a catalyst for the opioid crisis-an international epidemic of drug addiction which has killed nearly half a million people.

In this masterpiece of narrative reporting and writing, Patrick Radden Keefe exhaustively documents the jaw-dropping and ferociously compelling reality. Empire of Pain is the story of a dynasty: a parable of 21st century greed.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781529062489
Number of pages: 560
Weight: 820 g
Dimensions: 243 x 165 x 51 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'There are so many "they did what?" moments in this book, when your jaw practically hits the page' - The Sunday Times

'This is no dense medical tome, but a page-turner with a villainous family to rival the Roys in Succession, and one where every chapter ends with the perfect bombshell.' - Esquire

'The story of the Sacklers and OxyContin is a parable of the modern era of philanthropy being deployed to burnish the reputations of financiers and entrepreneurs ... [A] tour-de-force' - The Financial Times 

'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, author of Bad Blood, The New York Times Book Review

'An engrossing (and frequently enraging) tale of striving, secrecy and self-delusion . . . 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

'Explosive . . . Keefe marshals a large pile of evidence and deploys it with prosecutorial precision . . . Keefe is a gifted storyteller who excels at capturing personalities.' - The Washington Post

'A brutal, multigenerational treatment of the Sackler family' - Brian Mann, NPR.org

'An air-tight indictment of the family behind the opioid crisis . . . [an] impressive expose' - Harriet Ryan, Los Angeles Times

'A damning portrait of the Sacklers, the billionaire clan behind the OxyContin epidemic . . . [Keefe] has a knack for crafting lucid, readable descriptions of the sort of arcane business arrangements the Sacklers favored.' - Laura Miller, Slate

'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. 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

'The story of the Sacklers and OxyContin is a parable of the modern era of philanthropy being deployed to burnish the reputations of financiers and entrepreneurs . . . [a] Tour-de-force' - Financial Times

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Hardback

“Outstanding”

I’ve yet to meet a bookseller who hasn’t been blown away by this, a fascinating, page turning study of the Sackler dynasty, the OxyContin epidemic and the company that blazed a trail of such greed it’s hard to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 21

“Brilliant investigative journalism”

This is a story of the corruption of the American dream - three brothers, whose talents in medicine and advertising come together to found a pharmaceutical business empire. The story of the Sackler brothers and their... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 12
Katy Wheatley

“A Work of Journalistic Genius”

This is an astonishing and brilliant piece of journalism.

Radden Keefe explores the origins of the Sackler family fortune and how it was, over several generations, generated by the family's willingness to turn... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 6

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