The story of the Sackler Dynasty, Purdue Pharma, and their involvement in the opioid crisis that has created millions of addicts, even as it generated billions of dollars in profit.


The highly-anticipated portrait of three generations of the Sackler family, 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.



ISBN: 9781529063073
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 560
Publication Date: 13 Apr 2021
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Dimensions (cm): 23.4(H) x 15.4(L) x 4.3(W)
Weight (gm): 680



Explosive . . . Keefe marshals a large pile of evidence and deploys it with prosecutorial precision . . . Keefe is a gifted storyteller who excels at capturing personalities. * Washington Post *
A true tragedy in multiple acts. It is the story of a family that lost its moorings and its morals, of a drug that became a killer rather than a comforter, of philanthropy that didn't wipe away the emotional pain that was the stepchild of the painkiller. It is also the story of idealism gone awry, of research being misused, of pills being abused . . . What we learn in this gripping volume helps explain the OxyContin tragedy we all saw transpiring around us. Shame. * Boston Globe *
A growing number of institutions say they will no longer accept donations from the Sacklers. Some even began scraping the family's name from their walls. After that kind of fall from grace, what's left to be learned from Empire of Pain? A lot, as it happens. * NPR *
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. * New York Times *


Author Biography

Patrick Radden Keefe is an award-winning staff writer at the New Yorker 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
Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

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