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Beth Macy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Beth Macy
Beth Macy is an American non fiction writer and journalist. She grew up in Urbana, Ohio, and got her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University in the year 1986. She got a master’s degree in creative writing from Hollins University in 1993.

From 1989 to 2014, Beth was a reporter for The Roanoke Times. Beth writes op-eds and essays for The New York Times as well as online journals, magazines, and radio. In the year 2010, she received the Nieman Fellowship for Journalism by Harvard University.

“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America” was adapted into a limited run series that aired on Hulu in 2021. It was developed by Danny Strong. In 2019, “Dopesick” was shortlisted for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.

In 2022, Beth received the USC Scripter Award for her writing along with her and her scripter Danny Strong being given an additional award for the episode of “Dopesick” called “The People vs Purdue Pharma”. During her acceptance speech, she talked about America’s struggles with opioid addiction.

“Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2014. One man’s battle to save hundreds of jobs by demonstrating the greatness of American business.

The Bassett Furniture Company was the world’s largest wood furniture manufacturer. Ran by the same powerful Virginia family for generations, it was also the center of life in Bassett, Virginia. However starting in the 1980s, the first waves of Asian competition started to hit, and ultimately Bassett was forced to send production overseas.

John Bassett III, was one man who fought back. He was a determined and shrewd third-generation factory man, and now chairman of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co., which employs over 700 Virginians and has sales of over $90 million. Beth brings to life his deeply personal family and furniture tale, along with a host of characters from an industry that was just as colorful as it was cutthroat. While she shows how he uses factory efficiencies, legal maneuvers, and sheer cunning and grit to save hundreds of jobs, she also reveals the truth about modern industry in America.

“Truevine: Two Brothers, a Kidnapping, and a Mother’s Quest” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2016. A true story about two African-American brothers that were abducted and displayed as circus freaks, and whose mom endured this 28 year long struggle to get them back.

The year was 1899 and the place was a sweltering tobacco farm in the Jim Crow South town of Truevine, Virginia. Willie and George Muse were two little boys born into a sharecropper family. One day this white man offered a piece of candy to them, setting off a series of events which would take them around the world and change both their lives forever.

The Muse brothers, captured into the circus, performed for royalty at Buckingham Palace and headlined over twelve sold-out shows at New York’s Madison Square Garden. The Muse brothers were global superstars in a pre-broadcast era. However the very root of their success was the color of their skin and in the outrageous caricatures that they were force to assume: sheep-headed freaks, supposed cannibals, and even “Ambassadors from Mars”.

Their mom, while back home, never accepted that they were actually “gone” and spent 28 years attempting to get them back. Through decades of research and hundreds of interviews, Beth expertly explores a difficult and central question: where were these brothers better off? In poverty back home or on the world stage?

This is a compelling narrative rife with implications to race relations today and rich in historical detail.

Beth first learned about the Muses during the 80s, when she started working for The Roanoke Times. She was told that it was the best story in town, however nobody had been able to get the full story because of the Muse family’s protectiveness. She approached Saunders however got rebuffed initially due to the number of people that attempted to invade the men’s privacy with their rude questions.

Beth got permission to write a series of news articles about George and Willie after the former of the brothers died in 2001 and Saunders approved of Beth’s plans to pen a book about the brothers in late 2013. She searched through old news clippings and trade presses and even gained information about the Muse family itself. She talked to older members of the African-American community in Roanoke, where she learned some of them assumed it was a hoax, while some thought it was true.

“Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2018. Beth Macy takes us right into the epicenter of America’s two decade long struggle with opioid addiction. From disparate cities to once idyllic farm towns, from distressed small communities in Central Appalachia to the more wealthy suburbs, it is a heartbreaking trajectory which illustrates exactly how this national crisis has persisted for so very long and gotten so firmly entrenched.

Starting with just one dealer that lands in a tiny Virginia town and sets about turning high school football stars into heroin overdose stats, Beth works to answer one grieving mom’s question: why her son died, and comes away with a harrowing tale about need and greed. From OxyContin’s introduction in 1996, Beth parses together exactly how America embraced a medical culture where overtreatment with painkillers became the norm.

In some of these same distressed communities featured in her bestseller “Factory Man”, the unemployed use painkillers both to pay their bills and to numb their pain of joblessness. Even while privileged teens trade pills in cul-de-sacs, and some high school standouts fall prey to jail, prostitution, and death.

Through some unsparing, yet deeply human portraits of these families and the first responders that struggle to ameliorate this epidemic, each facet of this crisis is put into focus. In these politically broken times, Beth shows, that the one thing which unites Americans across class and geographic lines is opioid drug abuse. However in a country that’s unable to provide basic healthcare for all, Beth still finds some reason to hope, and signs of the tenacity and spirit needed in those facing addiction to build a better future for themselves as well as their families.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Beth Macy

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