Patrick Radden Keefe on Empire of Pain

The Book Review


Patron kief joins us now. His new book is called empire of pain. the secret history of the sackler dynasty. Patrick thanks for being here. Thanks so much for having me back. So let's start with a very basic question. In case people are not aware of the sackler family and why he would be writing about them with title like empire of pain. who are the sackler. So this sort of to waste answer that question until a few years ago what. The sackler name Generally to to the extent that people were aware of this family it was a very wealthy family. One of the wealthiest families in the united states with a branch in the uk in london and they were known chiefly for philanthropy right art museum wings. Hundreds of millions of dollars to art museums and universities and medical research and would very often put their name on these bequests. If you you know in new york city go to the metropolitan museum of art and there's the sackler wing And that was what they were known for. What was more mysterious. Was the source of this wealth and it has People have become more widely aware. Recently that That the bulk of this wealth comes from a company purdue pharma which produces the powerful painkiller oxycontin in this era in which the naming of things and the un naming of things mounting and the on mounting has become very active. Is it still the circle ring. In the metropolitan museum is sackler still emblazoned on all of these buildings and donated wings. Well it's very much in flux. So as i speak today it's still the sackler wing but the has actually announced today initially. They said they weren't taking any future. Donations from the soccer is because of the connection between the family and the crisis and then more recently. They've said that they are You know i think assessing is is the word whether or not the sackler wing will remain the sackler wing. Some institutions have started to take the name down so tufts university took down the sackler name from a series of buildings Because the students there this is at the medical school had said. I don't wanna go to class in a building named after this family and and get my medical education. They're more recently. New york university has done the same. The louvre in paris is taken down the sackler name. So there's a real question for many of these other institutions and there's dozens and dozens of them were the name still stands whether or not they'll keep it

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