An excerpt from Mick Farren's new book exploring the drug that dominates the lives of millions of schoolchildren, soldiers on the battlefield and freelance writers.
The event of rock & roll added a frenetic thrashing drive to the world's entertainment, and television warped the world's perception. The twentieth century was an era of massive overreaching that culminated in us pushing our planet to the very edge of environmental catastrophe, as melting icecaps change the course of the ocean tides. The twentieth century was also a time of scarcely believable greed and all too grandiose dreams. The developed nations of the West demanded more and more, and we grew furious if TV commercials reneged on their promises and we couldn't instantly have it all. The West grew fat even as famines decimated developing nations. We burned energy as if there was no tomorrow, and in so doing, made tomorrow considerably more problematic. And this was where speed found its place, introducing itself to greedy dreams on all levels of twentieth-century culture with seductive assurances of free additional energy, enhancing stamina that enabled users to keep going like the bunny in battery commercial, and feel a euphoric omnipotence as the need to eat, sleep, or even feel anything unwontedly profound were removed by the insulating effects of amphetamine. One could even lose radical weight with no effort of will, and become fashionably slim. Adolf Hitler's doctor shot him up with cocktails of speed and the devil only knew what else, as he designed the blitzkrieg, in his greed for the absolute power he believed would enable him to annex the entire planet for his master race, and organized the deaths of tens of millions.Read the rest.