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Rebel Book Club x Empire of Pain | July 2022

February 16, 2023

Rebel Book Club x Empire of Pain | July 2022

"The Sackler empire is a completely integrated operation," Blair wrote. They could develop a drug, have it clinically tested, secure favourable reports from the doctors and hospitals with which they had connections, devise an advertising campaign in their agency, publish the clinical articles and the advertisements in their on medical journals, and use their public relations muscle to place articles in newspapers and magazines."

At the end of July, we met up to chat about @praddenkeefe ‘s scandalous #EmpireofPain about the opioid crisis the USA is facing, and the 90 years of events and decisions that led us here...

We ended July's inquisition into the Sackler family history, business ventures and legacy in the @rebelbookclub Court Room, where even the Sackler’s themselves made an appearance 👀…

The Sackler Courtcase in full flow

💥 Rebel Insights include:

1. A better understanding of how big pharma and corporations are able to bend the rules in their favour ⚖️
2. How regulations for bringing new meds to the market differ - USA vs UK vs other European countries - thanks to a few pharma experts in the club!
3. How philanthropy works and its ethical implications when good deeds are funded with dirty money…

Thanks to everyone who joined in this month!

The Rebel Book Court Jury.

Special thanks go out to our venues @xandwhyspace @frameworkbristol @comegatheround

Plus the lovely @sxolliexider @maria_and_craigs and @dashdrinks for fuelling our event! ❤️

Ben chats to our lovely drinks sponsors, Sxollie Cider + Maria and Craig's CBD Drink

Get stuck into some further resources on the Sackler's below:

  • Temple of Dendur - The Egyptian temple and it's new home in Washington, partly built with Arthur Sackler's $3.5 million donation over 20 years
  • Museums under pressure to remove the Sackler name from their galleries - The Royal Naval College, London.
  • Museums no longer accepting donations from the Sackler's - Tate Art Galleries, the Louvre, the British Museum, the Jewish Museum Berlin.


We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.

We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…

We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our website, follow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!
Not Your Average Book Club.

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