Saturday, August 7, 2010

Table of Contents: Cocaine Nation - How the White Trade Took Over the World

Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the WorldAlso known as: The Candy Machine - How the White Trade Took Over the World

Author: Tom Feiling
Publisher/Year: Pegasus, 2010
Synopsis: Cocaine is big business and getting bigger. Governments spend millions on an unwinnable war against it, yet it's now the drug of choice in the West. How did the cocaine economy get so huge? Who keeps it running behind the scenes? Tom Feiling travels the trade routes from Colombia via Miami, Kingston and Tijuana to London and New York. He meets Medillin hitmen, US kingpins, Brazilian traffickers, and talks to soldiers and narcotics officers who fight the gangs and cartels. He traces cocaine's progress from legal 'pick-me-up' to luxury product to global commodity, looks at legalization programmes in countries such as Switzerland, and shows how America's anti-drugs crusade is actually increasing demand. Cutting through the myths about the white market, this is the story of cocaine as it's never been told before.

What Others Have To Say

The New York Times
"What sets Feiling’s book apart is his analysis of how America’s insatiable appetite for narcotics and its zealous determination to quash those cravings have spread misery and violence across the globe."

The A.V. Club
"Over and over, Feiling shows how small the gains have been in the war on drugs, compared to the destruction it’s left in its wake—both in terms of the devastation cocaine can have on its users, and in the amount of violence that war has caused, particularly in Latin American countries where corruption runs rampant, and the mafiosi who control the terrain regularly kidnap and murder anyone in their way, from rival dealers to crusading journalists."

The Guardian
"This is all entertaining information, but where the book starts to go astray is in allowing a polemic against prohibition to inform not just its argument but its tone."

The Telegraph
"Far more repulsive are the South American drugs warlords, while Feiling’s account of the vile conditions, terror, corruption and exploitation in Medellín or Kingston will make many readers shudder. The sicarios (hit men) of Medellín have 37 words for gun, 73 words for death, 42 words for violence – rather as Eskimos are said to have for snow."

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