In Mick Farren's latest book, he examines the history and sociological significance of amphetamine and discovers (not too surprisingly) that the use of speed is woven throughout the tapestry of 20th century culture. Invented initially as a bronchodilator at the beginning of the industrial age, it didn't take long before Benzedrine became the fuel of the burgeoning entertainment industry, the assembly line industrial model and the war machines of governments across the globe.
In Farren's inimitable gonzo journalistic style, he reveals the untold history of the one of the most influential forces on human development- how amphetamines were invented, how they found there way into mainstream culture, and how they remained legal while other drugs suffered from political prohibitions. The history of speed, it turns out, is the history of power.
In 206 fast-paced pages (the book itself is shaped like a "black beauty") Farren rarely misses a beat and keeps the reader engaged with a mix of historical detail and political intrigue, topped off with an insiders look at the effects of speed on the psychedelic 60's, biker culture and the punk scene. Farren, as the lead singer of "The Deviants" and one of the godfathers of punk rock experienced that story first hand, and tells it with a survivor's sense of humor.
Mick Farren is the author of 23 science fiction novels and 11 non-fiction books, including The Hitchhikers Guide to Elvis, The Black Leather Jacket, and Give the Anarchist a Cigarette (his autobiography).