High Price

  • by Carl Hart
  • Narrated by J. D. Jackson
  • 11 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A pioneering neuroscientist shares his story of growing up in one of Miami's toughest neighborhoods and how it led him to his groundbreaking work in drug addiction.
As a youth, Carl Hart didn't realize the value of school; he studied just enough to stay on the basketball team. At the same time, he was immersed in street life. Today he is a cutting-edge neuroscientist - Columbia University's first tenured African American professor in the sciences - whose landmark, controversial research is redefining our understanding of addiction.
In this provocative and eye-opening memoir, he recalls his journey of self-discovery and weaves his past and present. Hart goes beyond the hype of the antidrug movement as he examines the relationship among drugs, pleasure, choice, and motivation, both in the brain and in society. His findings shed new light on common ideas about race, poverty, and drugs, and explain why current policies are failing.
Though Hart escaped neighborhoods that were dominated by entrenched poverty and the knot of problems associated with it, he has not turned his back on his roots. Determined to make a difference, he tirelessly applies his scientific research to help save real lives. But balancing his former street life with his achievements today has not been easy - a struggle he reflects on publicly for the first time.
A powerful story of hope and change, of a scientist who has dedicated his life to helping others, High Price will alter the way we think about poverty, race, and addiction - and how we can effect change.


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High Price by Carl Hart is one of the very best audio books I have listened to in the last year. As a reader, I am always intrigued by how others become successful. Given that Dr. Hart grows up in a broken home with minimal positive supports in Carol City Miami exposed to violence and frequent drug use only makes his journey to a tenured professorship at Columbia University more captivating.

Dr. Hart is able to pinpoint the key behavioral moments and environmental conditions that permitted him to move toward the next opportunity. As you are reading High Price, you may say to yourself "How does this guy eventually become a tenured Columbia professor ?" Dr. Hart conveys his incredible journey in a manner that keeps the reader/listener fully engaged and locked in.

High Price is not only about the Carl Hart story. Instead Dr. Hart educates the reader/listener about the history of drug enforcement, drug addiction, the chemical structure of illegal drugs, and the racism disguised as the war on drugs. Dr. Hart challenges the basic assumption many Americans have about street drugs that is propagated by the media, drug associations, and politicians. He also exposes the reader to peer reviewed research that refutes many of our long-standing and commonly held assumptions about drug use in inner city America.

Finally, the strongest part of High Praise is Dr. Hart's explanations of human behavior based on the science of behaviorism as espoused by BF Skinner. Dr. Hart does not rely on the verbal musings and explanatory motivations that drive behavior. Instead, Dr. Hart explains the challenging behaviors of others by examining their environments and their lacking repertoire of functional life skills.

Overall, High Praise is a great book!

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- DaWoolf

Changed My Perception of Drugs in Society.

What did you love best about High Price?

I immediately became aware of how much judgment and prohibition is cast around society. Many prohibition laws inhibit progress in civilization.

What did you like best about this story?

Letting us in on his lifestyle. An honest trustworthy man, exposing very controversial points on drugs.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I'd rather Carl Hart read the book

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- M. brockman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-17-2013
  • Publisher: HarperAudio