Henry Smith Williams

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Henry Smith Williams
Born 1863
Died 1943 (aged 79–80)
Occupation Author, Doctor, Lawyer
Nationality American
Genre Science, History, Medicine

Henry Smith Williams was a medical doctor, lawyer, and author of a number of books on medicine, history, and science. He was born in 1863 and died in 1943.[1]

In the introductory the Author of his book Drug Addicts Are Human Beings published in 1938, it is stated that this is the author's 119th published book. In addition to his work as a writer, it is claimed that Williams had treated some 10,000 patients in his medical practice. It also announces that he was an expert on the "chemistry and biology of the blood cells" and had spent ten years intensively studying cancer. His brother was the doctor Edward Huntington Williams, with whom he wrote his "History of Science (31 volumes)".[3]

In his book, Chasing the Scream,[4] Johann Hari describes how the 1931 arrest and subsequent imprisonment of Williams' brother, Edward, was orchestrated by Harry J. Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and that Williams, after pleading for his brother's release, spent much of the rest of his life advocating, as his brother had, for the kinder treatment of addicts (which eventually led to his writing of the book, Drug Addicts Are Human Beings), including prescribing addicts measured doses of the very drugs to which they were addicted, with surprising (anecdotal) success. In his 1938 book, Williams predicted with a high degree of accuracy that, fifty years later, drug-smuggling would grow to become a five-billion-dollar industry. Williams died still trying to end the drug war, his uncharacteristic book and his efforts at speaking out in favor of his brother's beliefs almost entirely suppressed and forgotten.

Select works[edit]


  1. ^ "Harper's Magazine author page for Henry Smith Williams". Harper's Magazine. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  2. ^ Passenger Dept, Southern Pacific Company (August 1914). "advertisement". Sunset. Southern Pacific Company, Passenger Dept. August 1914: 401. 
  3. ^ Williams, Henry Smith (1938). Drug Addicts are Human Beings: The Story of Our billion-Dollar Drug Racket: How We Created It and How We Can Wipe It Out. p. iii. 
  4. ^ Hari, Johann (January 15, 2015). Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. Great Britain: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc. pp. 35–41. ISBN 9781620408902. 

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