Aug. 3, 2022 In the event that you was raised in the 1970s and 1980s, it’s likely that high youre acquainted with Go Ask Alice.
That which was then reported to be the true diary of a 15-year-old promising teen turned drug addict premiered in 1971 as a cautionary tale and contains since sold over 5 million copies. The diary was harrowing contrary to the backdrop of the war on drugs and soon became both acclaimed and banned from classrooms in the united states.
Schools citied inappropriate language that borders on pornography as grounds to prohibit teenagers from reading Alices story. But around the books vivid writing offended readers, it drew millions in using its profanity and graphic descriptions of sex, drugs, and mental health struggles.
At that time, TheNY Times reviewed the book as a solid, painfully honest, nakedly candid and true story a document of horrifying reality, however the popular diary was later found to become a ploy a fake story compiled by a 54-year-old Mormon youth counselor named Beatrice Sparks.
Now, Sparks, who died in 2012, has been further exposed in radio personality Rick Emersons new book, Unmask Alice: LSD, Satanic Panic, and the Imposter Behind the Worlds Most Notorious Diaries. Emerson published the expos in July, years after he previously the idea to research Sparkss work in 2015. The book details Sparkss background, her journey in creating Alice, and her quest to be recognized for the teen diary she had published as Anonymous.
After 30 years of trying, Beatrice Sparks had changed the planet. And nobody knew it, Emerson told the NY Post.
In his work, Emerson also dives in to the profound impact of the diary at the same time when not just as much research existed on teen mental health.
Once the teenager whose diary inspired Sparkss writing died in March 1971, the 1st true study of adolescent psychology had just barely turn out, Emerson thought to Rolling Stone. Mental health, specifically for teenagers, was still quite definitely on training wheels.
In accordance with Emerson, too little insight into mental medical issues allowed Sparkss description to go relatively unchallenged and for the books influence to spread despite its misinformation.
Its indisputable that large parts of Go Ask Alice are simply embellished and/or false, he told the Post.
Then vs. Now
When Go Ask Alice was published, child psychiatry and psychology literature contained relatively few references to depression, confirming a 2021 analysis of academic literature on childhood and adolescent depression from 1970 to 2019.
This landscape is in stark contrast to today, where a large number of studies on this issue have already been done, when compared to mere dozens in the 1970s.
Anxiety and depression in minors have increased as time passes, a trend worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the CDC. Studies show that reported drug used in teens has decreased as time passes, proving significant through the pandemic, based on the National Institutes of Health.
While Alice from Go Ask Alice have not existed in either, comparing both periods can provide insight into teens’ struggles in the 1970s vs. today and sheds light on what literature fiction or faked fiction can transform a nation.