Cover image for Chasing the scream : the first and last days of the war on drugs
Title:
Chasing the scream : the first and last days of the war on drugs
Author:
Hari, Johann.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Bloomsbury, 2015.
Physical Description:
389 pages ; 25 cm
Summary:
For the first time, the startling full story of the disastrous war on drugs -- propelled by moving human stories, revolutionary insight into addiction, and fearless international reporting.

"January, 2015 will mark a century of the war on drugs in the United States: one hundred years since the first arrests under the Harrison Act. Facing down this anniversary, Johann Hari was witnessing a close relative and an ex-boyfriend bottoming out on cocaine and heroin. But what was the big picture in the war on drugs? Why does it continue, when most people now think it has failed? The reporter set out on a two-year, 20,000-mile journey through the theater of this war--to find out how it began, how it has affected people around the world, and how we can move beyond it. Chasing the Scream is fueled by dramatic personal stories of the people he meets along the way: A transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn who wanted to know who killed her mother, and a mother in Mexico who spent years tracking her daughter's murderer across the desert. A child smuggled out of the Jewish ghetto during the Holocaust who helped unlock the scientific secrets of addiction. A doctor who pushed the decriminalization in Portugal of all drugs - from cannabis to crack. The title itself comes from a formative story of Harry Anslinger, first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, sent as a boy to the pharmacy for a neighbor screaming in withdrawal -- an experience which led him to fear drugs without regard to context. Always we come back to the front lines in the U.S., where we instigated the war and exported it around the globe, but where change is also coming. Powerful, propulsive, and persuasive, Chasing the Scream is the page-turning story of a century-long mistake, which shows us the way to a more humane future"--
Language:
English
Contents:
Mount Rushmore. The Black Hand ; Sunshine and weaklings ; The barrel of Harry's gun ; The bullet at the birth -- Ghosts. Souls of mischief ; Hard to be Harry ; Mushrooms -- Angels. State of shame ; Bart Simpson and the Angel of Juárez ; Marisela's long march -- The temple. The grieving mongoose ; Terminal city ; Batman's bad call -- Peace. The drug addicts' uprising ; Snowfall and strengthening ; The Spirit of '74 ; The man in the well ; High noon -- If you are alone.
ISBN:
9781620408902
Format :
Book

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Audubon Library HV5825 .H234 2015 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

New York Times Bestseller

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.

In Chasing the Scream , Hari reveals his discoveries entirely through the stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade--and it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.

Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war--in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This book will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial--and consequential--questions of our time.


Author Notes

Johann Hari was a columnist for the Independent in London for nine years and was twice named Newspaper Journalist of the Year by Amnesty International UK. He has written for the New York Times , the Los Angeles Times , the Guardian , Le Monde , Slate , the New Republic , and the Nation , among others. He has also been awarded the Comment Award for Cultural Commentator of the Year by Editorial Intelligence, and has been named Journalist of the Year by Stonewall. Hari lives in London.
www.johannhari.com
@johannhari101


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is a frank, often brutal examination of the origins of the American war-on-drugs policy. Dating back to the days before Prohibition, this policy is demonstrated to be ineffective, racist, and based almost entirely on pseudoscience. It also has nearly singled-handedly created dangerous drug cartels. Hari tracks the effects that this policy has had on Western culture, U.S. foreign policy, law-enforcement behaviors, and, of course, its effect on drug users. Dividing his book neatly into five parts, each with its own subsections, Hari concisely lays out the history and long-term effects of the war on drugs with both depth and precision. He portrays everyone with empathy, from drug dealers to drug addicts, law enforcement personnel, and civilians caught in the middle of this war, which, along with the first-person narration, helps to keep the narrative engaging, albeit often depressing. Hari ends the book by examining alternate ways drug use and drug addiction are being dealt with, the new and growing science that shows that everything we thought we knew about drugs may be wrong, and how there is hope for a new understanding of drug use in the future.--Hayes, Rebecca Copyright 2015 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In his first book, journalist Hari takes readers on a historical tour of the devastation wrought by the global war on drugs, beginning at the turn of the 20th century with Harry Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, and Arnold Rothstein, the Prohibition-era kingpin of New York. Hari dutifully documents the individual lives encroached on by the war on drugs, from the addicts made into pariahs by the zealousness of Anslinger's acolytes to the Brooklyn corner boys and Mexican cartels whose violence continues to destroy communities, as well as the doctors ruined by the quixotic struggle to enact meaningful reform and research. Hari's investigation leads him to research labs conducting experiments that challenge the classic pharmaceutical model of addiction, presenting more complex theories that see addiction as symptomatic of larger sociological and psychological issues and argue that addiction is both less serious and more treatable than the antidrug lobby claims. Eventually coming to the belief that the best strategy is to "legalize drugs stage by stage, and use the money we currently spend on punishing addicts to fund compassionate care instead," Hari ends his journey in Uruguay, Portugal, and Switzerland, where successful movements to legalize and decriminalize drugs offer hope for the future. Hari has made a stimulating hybrid of a book-simultaneously a readable history of the war on drugs and a powerful case for radical reform. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Journalist Hari makes a compelling case for abandoning the war on drugs, legalizing and controlling addictive substances, and spending instead on prevention, support, and treatment. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Part I Mount Rushmore
1 The Black Handp. 7
2 Sunshine and Weaklingsp. 33
3 The Barrel of Harry's Gunp. 42
4 The Bullet at the Birthp. 48
Part II Ghosts
5 Souls of Mischiefp. 61
6 Hard to Be Harryp. 85
7 Mushroomsp. 98
Part III Angels
8 State of Shamep. 103
9 Bart Simpson and the Angel of Juárezp. 116
10 Marisela's Long Marchp. 131
Part IV The Temple
11 The Grieving Mongoosep. 145
12 Terminal Cityp. 153
13 Batman's Bad Callp. 168
Part V Peace
14 The Drug Addicts' Uprisingp. 187
15 Snowfall and Strengtheningp. 205
16 The Spirit of '74p. 233
17 The Man in the Wellp. 256
18 High Noonp. 275
Conclusion: If You Are Alonep. 291
A Note on Narrative Techniquesp. 300
Acknowledgmentsp. 302
Notesp. 305
Bibliographyp. 361
Indexp. 375

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