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Palgrave Macmillan

Heroin and Music in New York City

ISBN 9781137308566
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Heroin abuse amongst musicians has never been limited to one genre, but the nature of the connection between heroin and music is not well understood at all. Narrative accounts from a sample of 69 New York City-based musicians and self-acknowledged heroin abusers will address the beginnings of their heroin addictions, it's prevalence amongst artists in certain music genres, and the impact -detrimental or otherwise- heroin has on musicians' playing, creativity, and careers.

Barry Spunt is Associate Professor of Sociology at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, USA.

1. Introduction
2. Jazz
3. Rock
4. R and B
5. Latin and Caribbean Music
6. American Folk Music
7. Conclusion


"The book read to me as a labour of love and is a model of scholarship. . .As such, it is a fine example for students of the imaginative use of secondary data and, rather like the board game Monopoly, is a methodology that could be copied to another big city, only with a comparative dimension to boot." - Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
"Spunt's study of heroin use amongst New York City's musicians is an exciting academic journey for those who appreciate the merits of qualitative research and especially scholars working in urban ethnography and cultural criminology. Readers will discover that Spunt's groundbreaking study engages the critical academic mind and also the human heart: this book confronts the reader with a vast human tragedy where many of our best musicians have ruined their artistic excellence with heroin." - Thaddeus Muller, Assistant Professor of Criminology, Erasmus University, The Netherlands
"Spunt clearly and comprehensively demonstrates the connection between heroin and music and the need for a better understanding of that nexus." - Henry H. Brownstein, Senior Fellow, University of Chicago, USA
"This work promises to make a unique contribution to the sociological literature on music and drug use. Spunt is eminently qualified to make this statement, having distinguished himself as a veteran ethnographer of the New York City heroin scene. His depiction of New York City heroin-using musicians is simply fascinating, sure to become a classic in the field." - Mark S. Hamm, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Indiana State University, USA, and author of The Spectacular Few: Prisoner Radicalization and the Evolving Terrorist Threat
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