6 Following


Currently reading

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry: A Novel
Rachel Joyce
Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Oceans' Oddest Creatures and Why They Matter
Ellen J. Prager

Drug Wars: An Oral History from the Trenches

Drug Wars: An Oral History From The Trenches - Tim Wells, William Triplett, Tin Wells Wow, I'm surprised that I am the ONLY PERSON to have rated this book! It was only published in 1992, and it is pretty relevant and interesting.

Basically, the entire book is just interviews with people in their own words with a bare minimum of commentary. There are interviews with happy-go-lucky recreational drug users, police, people who have been beyond addicted, doctors dealing with drug-related gunshot wounds, drug dealers & smugglers, prison guards. Pretty much anyone who is related to or sees the effects of the drug war. Their approach--of letting people simply tell their stories--proves an insightful one, as the possible experiences are so vast. Sometimes an interview will directly contradict the one before it (for example, someone claims that "most" heroin addicts don't rob people with guns, followed by a heroin addict who says she and all her friends went on armed robbery frenzies). The thing is, since they're all people's own experiences, they're technically all "true." So it really gets the point of the fragmented and twisted "front lines" of the drug war.

Even though I have read several books on the topic of drugs and the drug war, this book still provided me with lots of information. Not hard, factual information (although there is some of that), but it really does give a window into the drug war. After reading many graphic details, I was sure that a book couldn't make me squeamish anymore; the chapter in which a doctor describes how to open a chest to attempt to save the life of a gunshot victim proved me spectacularly wrong. That's gonna gross me out for days.

Anyway, it was a pretty quick read, and there are some pretty haunting and interesting accounts. To anyone interested in the subject, I'd definitely recommend it, especially since you can pick it up on Amazon for one penny plus shipping.