Carr runs over Dogma: Drug memoirist defends himself in blog comments

Local crackhead-about-town turned

New York Times

media reporter David Carr has enjoyed quite a lot of pre-publication buzz on his intriguing new memoir,

The Night of the Gun


One of the best pieces is Brian Lambert's interview with the author in Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine. One of the the worst pieces is a guest blog post on Mother Jones by Mojo author Maia Szalavitz.

Szalavitz, who hasn't read the book, judges it entirely on a recent excerpt published in New York Times Magazine.

Perhaps in the book he tells the story of how he came to be so uncaring and far gone as to leave his children in a car for hours the winter while smoking crack or shooting up. Perhaps there, he further examines his privileged position. And perhaps there he recognizes that a model of addiction that sees addiction as simple immoral behavior doesn't capture its essence.

In the article, however, his immorality is described as a simple consequence of addiction. The drugs made me do it, Officer. End of story.

This morning, Carr himself appeared in the comments section to answer the criticism:

my book addresses, precisely and comprehensively, each of the issues you raised. why review an excerpt? why not do the work and read the book? seems silly to indict on what is and is not in an excerpt and speculate on what might be in the book.

best regards,

david carr

Posted by: David Carr on 07/25/08 at 10:14 AM

We gotta give this one to Carr. Judging the book based on the excerpt was poor form, and Szalavitz's moralizing from the perspective of a reformed addict is insufferable.

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