Johann Hari is a New York Times best-selling author. His book Chasing the Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs has been translated into 15 languages and is currently being adapted into a major Hollywood film, and into a non-fiction documentary series. He is one of the most-viewed TED talkers of all time: His talk, “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction is Wrong,” has been viewed more than 20 million times.
Drawing on international research and diverse studies, Johann Hari’s latest book Lost Connections proposes a simple but radical premise: as depression and anxiety rates rise around the world, maybe we need to look at the causes of mental illness beyond our own brains. His previous book, Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs similarly penetrated our beliefs surrounding addiction. As he persuasively shows audiences, the cure is in solving systemic problems of isolation and poverty—and working towards making people feel they belong, are valued, skilled, and with a secure future. Hari’s is a campaign of human connection.
Chasing the Scream is the product of his four-year, 12-country, 30,000-mile journey into the war on drugs. Called “breathtaking” by The Guardian, “gripping” by The Financial Times, and “riveting” by the San Francisco Chronicle, the book explores three startling truths: drugs are not what we think they are, and neither is addiction. Hari’s viral TED Talk—viewed online more than 15 million times—is a funny, fascinating, and moving look at the ways in which we turn to addiction as a response to conditions of isolation and disengagement in our lives.
Hari has written for many of the world’s leading newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Le Monde, The Guardian, the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The Nation, Slate, El Mundo, and The Sydney Morning Herald. He was a lead op-ed columnist for The Independent, one of Britain’s leading newspapers, for nine years, and was named ‘National Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International twice. He was named ‘Environmental Commentator of the Year’ at the Editorial Intelligence awards, and ‘Gay Journalist of the Year’ at the Stonewall awards. He has also won the Martha Gellhorn Prize for political writing.