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Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World

Overview

Cutting through the myths about the white trade, this is the story of cocaine as it's never been told before.Cocaine is big business and getting bigger. Governments spend millions on a losing war against it, yet it’s still the drug of choice in the West.In Cocaine Nation, Tom Feiling travels the trade routes from Colombia via Miami, Kingston, and Tijuana to London and New York. Cutting through the myths about the white trade, this is the story of cocaine as it’s never been told ...
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Cocaine Nation: How the White Trade Took Over the World

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Overview

Cutting through the myths about the white trade, this is the story of cocaine as it's never been told before.Cocaine is big business and getting bigger. Governments spend millions on a losing war against it, yet it’s still the drug of choice in the West.In Cocaine Nation, Tom Feiling travels the trade routes from Colombia via Miami, Kingston, and Tijuana to London and New York. Cutting through the myths about the white trade, this is the story of cocaine as it’s never been told before.
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Editorial Reviews

Financial Times
“An important study of the cultivation, usage, and suppression of cocaine. The book reads like a dramatic dispatch from the front line of a battle that can never be won.”
The Observer (London)
“Tom Feiling may well be the new Paul Theroux. He has written a vivid, argumentative, and arresting book. He marshals his evidence with a calm, elegant clarity.”
Robert Perkinson
An impassioned and wide-ranging if occasionally jumbled survey of "the white trade" and its enemies…This domestic tale of destruction has been well chronicled by journalists, social scientists and addicts-turned-memoirists. 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 New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Feiling, a documentary filmmaker who has done much work in Colombia, turns to the country’s main illegal export. (In the opening chapter, we learn about the original 19th-century coca use: “The modern-day [Coke] can’s red and white livery, taken from the colours of the Peruvian flag, is the only reminder of Coca-Cola’s Andean origins.” Studying the cultivation, distribution, and use of cocaine, he probes the drug’s meteoric rise in sales and traces traffic from Colombian coca fields to Miami, Kingston, Tijuana, London, and New York. He follows consumers, traders, producers, police officers, doctors, and custom officials. Part One analyzes the drug economy: “a lifeline for plenty of jobless Americans. Driving a car loaded with cocaine from El Paso to Chicago can earn the driver $10,000.” Crack cocaine, a cheaper form of the drug, became a booming market in the 1980s, even spreading to rural America. By 1989, Jamaican gangs supplied crack to 47 U.S. cities, while the Bloods and the Crips ran West Coast crack houses. Part Two studies suppliers, smugglers, and law enforcement. Concluding chapters debate drug education, treatment programs, and legalization issues. Packed with facts and figures, this is a well-researched survey of the subject. (July)
Metro [London]
“A very addictive book.”
The Observer [London]
“Tom Feiling may well be the new Paul Theroux. He has written a vivid, argumentative, and arresting book. He marshals his evidence with a calm, elegant clarity. The power of Feiling’s book is to show that this appalling situation has been created by a century of United States-led errors.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Impassioned and wide-ranging.... Feiling vividly describes the supply side of the cocaine business.... he argues convincingly that the remedy promoted most aggressively by the United States has proved far worse than the disease.”
Kirkus Reviews
Documentary filmmaker Feiling delivers a harrowing treatise on the seemingly invincible cocaine industry. The author makes an important contribution to the general understanding of this popular stimulant by dispensing the history and lore surrounding the mythical coca leaf and addressing abuse, transport and policy issues alongside hopeful solutions. Cocaine's ascent to popularity is accentuated by the mention of Abraham Lincoln's purchase of a coca wine product called "Cocoaine" in 1860, along with the rise of the euphorically addictive "Mariani wine." Surprisingly, writes Feiling, it was alcohol consumption that worried officials most as it widely surpassed cocaine in becoming the No. 1 "terrible threat" to the general public. The emergence and attractiveness of smoking crack cocaine is attributed to the drug's triple threat of availability, affordability and "the most intense sense of being alive the user will ever enjoy." Feiling scrutinizes drug policies, anti-drug initiatives, stringent sanctions and prohibition tactics with crisp, insightful rhetoric, commenting that while the "primordial conflict between good and evil" waged between police and drug traffickers is honorable and necessary, its efficacy remains questionable. The author notes that the countless American agencies charged with curtailing the drug's interchange have created "institutionalized buck-passing on a global scale." The drug's infiltration into schools and workplaces poses a threat, as well, to an emerging generation, damaging economic stability as much, Feiling contends, as the legalization mentality does. The author's travels to Colombia, Mexico, America and Jamaica provide a panoramic view of the many locales where cocaine is processed, shipped and negotiated. Feiling also includes interviews with drug dealers, cocaine addicts, traffickers and law-enforcement officials, all of whom have varying opinions on cocaine's effect on the national psyche. An arresting, fact-laden crash course on one of America's recreational drugs of choice. Agent: Broo Doherty/Wade & Doherty Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605982823
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 2/15/2012
  • Pages: 356
  • Sales rank: 1,374,628
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Feiling is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He spent a year working in South America where he made Resistencia: Hip-Hop in Colombia, which won numerous awards at film festivals around the world. He now lives in London where he is a director for ‘Justice for Colombia,’ which defends human rights in Colombia. Cocaine Nation is his first book.
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 2, 2011

    Very good history of cocaine trade. Provocative and extremely interesing.

    This was a very interesting and thorough book on history of cocaine. Easy to read and well researched.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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