Í Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market Ï Download by ó Eric Schlosser

Í Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market Ï Download by ó Eric Schlosser Eric Schlosser, the grade a muckraker whose widely read Fast Food Nation catapulted him to fame, returns with Reefer Madness, dedicated to nothing less than examining the underbelly of America s black market Through three distinct essays dealing with marijuana, migrant workers, and pornography , he examines the history, underlying economics, policy effects, and future directions of products and services that America can neither seem to abstain from nor openly embrace.
Reefer Madness is a difficult book to review because, in practice, it s actually three completely distinct essays, tied together at the front and the back The essays have markedly different style and tone, making a comprehensive review challenging So, I will take the easier route briefly reviewing each section The book s overall score is the average, weighted to how long each essay is.
Reefer Madness 74 100Schlosser s first foray into the world of the underground economy deals with the vast disparity between the harshness of marijuana prohibition and its apparent popularity Heavy on both the legal history and status quo, Schlosser s peerless research shines, giving an unvarnished account of how pot is grown, distributed, prosecuted, and proselytized He interviews people on both the smoking and the busting ends of the spectrum, and makes a convincing case that pot is, by income, the most profitable cash crop in the country, above corn a position advocated by some long time federal investigators, among others.
His final conclusions are that a the chemical and psychological dangers of marijuana are likely far lower than those of alcohol and nicotine, b proper research into marijuana s properties is being systematically discouraged to keep it classifies as being higher risk than cocaine or PCP, c draconian enforcement has led to America s staggering incarceration rate which has unduly criminalized that inmate population and destroyed both lives and families , and d that a system of taxation and regulation wouldeffectively solve America s pot related problems than the utter failure that is the War on Drugs He makes a solid if somewhat dry case for these points, backed up by considerable evidence.
In The Strawberry Fields 62 100The weakest essay of the three, Schlosser s examination of the hardships of Mexican strawberry pickers in southern California suffers from an all too common affliction in nonfiction irrelevance The investigative punch of this section is largely weakened by immigration having, since the book s publication, become the new hot issue for American conservatives, which has led many of Schlosser s assertions to become widely known To his credit, his treatment of the issue does a fair job of both humanizing migrants and of explaining the pressures on growers to use migrants, giving the reasons for poor labor conditions without demonizing or forgiving unnecessarily The historical angle of the story is also a welcome addition, one rarely heard in today s rhetorical war Still, the essay is too short and isn t an eye opener Schlosser could have done much better.
An Empire Of The Obscene 86 100Despite the book s title, it is the third section that is both the longest and most engaging of the three Schlosser brilliantly weds a comprehensive examination of porn s move from underground to mainstream with the legacy of an almost unknown figure who, by all accounts, essentially controlled pornography distribution for over 30 years Reuben Sturman Schlosser s high density, high quality research alone would provide much the same interesting tone as in the first essay, but combined with the rise and fall of Reuben Sturman it becomes electric and intensely personal.
Despite its lengthy exposition and its mere 103 page length, the story of Reuben Sturman could easily be an HBO TV series on par with the best serial television ever produced The story is so incredible it can be hard to believe, with Sturman and his rival Richard Rosfelder of the IRS spending decades locking horns with great victories and defeats The story has a femme fatal, a prison break, money laundering of the highest caliber, the Mob, and explosions From his first run in with the law in 1963 to his eventual death in 1997, Sturman waged a personal war on the U.
S government, and it s fascinating stuff.
Perhaps Schlosser s strength in this section stems from his detachment to its outcome Unlike the first two essays, which have a prescriptive tone, hard core porn is essentially a done deal in America While a war on porn has been pushed by the Bush administration, a conflict Schlosser anticipates but had not yet had a chance to see emerge, he rightly treats it as a futile battle porn and prudes locked horns for decades, and porn won As a result, Schlosser spends very little time telling us how things ought to be and can focus on telling us how it was.
Final OverviewThroughout, Schlosser s research is staggering The endnotes and bibliography make up over 20% of the book, and Schlosser cites just about every fact he asserts, a sadly waning practice in non fiction This helps to make hiseye popping assertions evenstriking It s clear throughout that he isn t making any of this stuff up Truth is stranger than fiction, and Schlosser is determined to uncover the truths about areas of American living and business that many people would rather not examine at all in fiction or otherwise Though it lacks the powerful, life changing punch of Fast Food Nation, this is nevertheless an excellent book that every adult American should read.
America S Black Market Is Much Larger Than We Realize, And It Affects Us All Deeply, Whether Or Not We Smoke Pot, Rent A Risqu Video, Or Pay Our Kid S Nannies In Cash In Reefer Madness The Best Selling Author Of Fast Food Nation Turns His Exacting Eye On The Underbelly Of The American Marketplace And Its Far Reaching Influence On Our Society Exposing Three American Mainstays Pot, Porn, And Illegal Immigrants Eric Schlosser Shows How The Black Market Has Burgeoned Over The Past Several Decades He Also Draws Compelling Parallels Between Underground And Overground How Tycoons And Gangsters Rise And Fall, How New Technology Shapes A Market, How Government Intervention Can Reinvigorate Black Markets As Well As Mainstream Ones, And How Big Business Learns And Profits From The Underground Reefer Madness Is A Powerful Investigation That Illuminates The Shadow Economy And The Culture That Casts That Shadow Back Cover written 6 03 This was a collection of three essays, one about marijuana law, one about immigrant strawberry pickers, and one about the porn industry I had already read the first one, found it on the internet, and liked it The other two were just as insightful and I agree with Schlosser on all points that the black market is too large to be ignored, that marijuana should be decriminalized, that corporations need to be regulated and the market cannot be trusted to serve the best interests of humans.
However, I was disappointed in this book It was nowhere near as good as Fast Food Nation Not as cohesive, and the book seemed to have been hastily put together as a follow up to FFN, riding on the wave of its success Did Schlosser sell out At least he got lots of press exposure for these ideas.
I learned a lot from these essays but feel they wereappropriate in the setting of the Atlantic Monthly than marketed as a cohesive piece of investigative journalism But keep up the good work, Schlosser.
Investigating America s Vices19 June 2013 Written the author of Fast Food Nation, this book contains three case studies that each dealing with an area of the black market marijuana, immigrant workers in the strawberry fields on California, and the hard core porn industry As one can expect from Schlosser, it is a thoroughly researched and tries to look at these industries in an objective manner, and does not necessarily try to conclude with some left wing conspiracy Basically there are lots of books that cover the topic of marijuana in the United States and the war on drugs Being an Australian where possession of small amounts up to three ounces in some places is pretty much a misdemeanor that results in a small fine, it is difficult to understand the nature of the war on drugs as it plays out in the United States In a way the war itself is scary because it has been suggested that if you are caught with even one joint you can be classified as a dealer, locked up, and have all of your possessions confiscated, even before you have been convicted In a way I believe that this is a really heavy handed approach, particularly since the laws date back to the 1930s, where the Dupont company pushed for the criminalisation of marijuana so that it could dominate the textile industry Another argument is also that since it is only recently that marijuana has become a popular Anglo saxon drug up until the sixties marijuana was predominantly a Mexican pleasure, and its narcotic purposes were only used in cure all potions made by chemists, who in those days did not necessarily need a license to practice Unfortunately, it is very difficult to access anything these days on the history of drugs and drug use since many of these documentaries are generally not made, or if they are, do not appear on the mainstream media unless of course its message is Drugs are bad In a way, it feels as if marijuana did not exist prior to the sixties, and that modern drugs, such as meth amphetamine, did not exist until the late 90s which is not true because allegedly Hitler used it during World War II and also apparently fed it to his troops It appears however that this book is about the black market and how the black market influences all of our lives In a way we are all exposed to the black market, whether we smoke pot, or rent dodgy videos from those dodgy video stores that have no windows This is where the second case study comes into play illegal immigrants Schlosser looks at the strawberry growers, but this applies to a lot of industries across the United States and while it happens in Australia, the fact that we do not have any land borders with poorer nations, we have a lot less illegal immigrants than do the United States The reason illegal immigrants are so popular is because the laws do not apply to them, so they can be paid under the minimum wage, which meansprofits for the business owner, and that they are not affected by the unfair dismissal laws or any of the other laws that apply to legitimate employees While the section on the porn industry applies to the black market as well, much of this hasto do with the freedom of speech amendment than it has to do with the black market even though while the industry was fighting the obscenity laws the profits coming from the porn industry were effectively a part of the black market Mind you, this section surprised me because I was expecting it to deal with Hugh Heffner or Larry Flynt, but they barely made a mention in this section I guess the reason is that we are dealing not with what is termed as soft porn if there is such a thing but with hard core pornography Mind you, porn has been around as long as there have been people willing to pay for it even though before photography, we had to pay for live shows, and then we might as well go to a brothel , however with the advent of film, television, and now the internet, access to it has become a lot easier.
Eric Schlosser, the grade a muckraker whose widely read Fast Food Nation catapulted him to fame, returns with Reefer Madness, dedicated to nothing less than examining the underbelly of America s black market Through three distinct essays dealing with marijuana, migrant workers, and pornography , he examines the history, underlying economics, policy effects, and future directions of products and services that America can neither seem to abstain from nor openly embrace.
Reefer Madness is a difficult book to review because, in practice, it s actually three completely distinct essays, tied together at the front and the back The essays have markedly different style and tone, making a comprehensive review challenging So, I will take the easier route briefly reviewing each section The book s overall score is the average, weighted to how long each essay is.
Reefer Madness 74 100Schlosser s first foray into the world of the underground economy deals with the vast disparity between the harshness of marijuana prohibition and its apparent popularity Heavy on both the legal history and status quo, Schlosser s peerless research shines, giving an unvarnished account of how pot is grown, distributed, prosecuted, and proselytized He interviews people on both the smoking and the busting ends of the spectrum, and makes a convincing case that pot is, by income, the most profitable cash crop in the country, above corn a position advocated by some long time federal investigators, among others.
His final conclusions are that a the chemical and psychological dangers of marijuana are likely far lower than those of alcohol and nicotine, b proper research into marijuana s properties is being systematically discouraged to keep it classifies as being higher risk than cocaine or PCP, c draconian enforcement has led to America s staggering incarceration rate which has unduly criminalized that inmate population and destroyed both lives and families , and d that a system of taxation and regulation wouldeffectively solve America s pot related problems than the utter failure that is the War on Drugs He makes a solid if somewhat dry case for these points, backed up by considerable evidence.
In The Strawberry Fields 62 100The weakest essay of the three, Schlosser s examination of the hardships of Mexican strawberry pickers in southern California suffers from an all too common affliction in nonfiction irrelevance The investigative punch of this section is largely weakened by immigration having, since the book s publication, become the new hot issue for American conservatives, which has led many of Schlosser s assertions to become widely known To his credit, his treatment of the issue does a fair job of both humanizing migrants and of explaining the pressures on growers to use migrants, giving the reasons for poor labor conditions without demonizing or forgiving unnecessarily The historical angle of the story is also a welcome addition, one rarely heard in today s rhetorical war Still, the essay is too short and isn t an eye opener Schlosser could have done much better.
An Empire Of The Obscene 86 100Despite the book s title, it is the third section that is both the longest and most engaging of the three Schlosser brilliantly weds a comprehensive examination of porn s move from underground to mainstream with the legacy of an almost unknown figure who, by all accounts, essentially controlled pornography distribution for over 30 years Reuben Sturman Schlosser s high density, high quality research alone would provide much the same interesting tone as in the first essay, but combined with the rise and fall of Reuben Sturman it becomes electric and intensely personal.
Despite its lengthy exposition and its mere 103 page length, the story of Reuben Sturman could easily be an HBO TV series on par with the best serial television ever produced The story is so incredible it can be hard to believe, with Sturman and his rival Richard Rosfelder of the IRS spending decades locking horns with great victories and defeats The story has a femme fatal, a prison break, money laundering of the highest caliber, the Mob, and explosions From his first run in with the law in 1963 to his eventual death in 1997, Sturman waged a personal war on the U.
S government, and it s fascinating stuff.
Perhaps Schlosser s strength in this section stems from his detachment to its outcome Unlike the first two essays, which have a prescriptive tone, hard core porn is essentially a done deal in America While a war on porn has been pushed by the Bush administration, a conflict Schlosser anticipates but had not yet had a chance to see emerge, he rightly treats it as a futile battle porn and prudes locked horns for decades, and porn won As a result, Schlosser spends very little time telling us how things ought to be and can focus on telling us how it was.
Final OverviewThroughout, Schlosser s research is staggering The endnotes and bibliography make up over 20% of the book, and Schlosser cites just about every fact he asserts, a sadly waning practice in non fiction This helps to make hiseye popping assertions evenstriking It s clear throughout that he isn t making any of this stuff up Truth is stranger than fiction, and Schlosser is determined to uncover the truths about areas of American living and business that many people would rather not examine at all in fiction or otherwise Though it lacks the powerful, life changing punch of Fast Food Nation, this is nevertheless an excellent book that every adult American should read.
Eric Schlosser has made a name for himself by probing behind the scenes of popular American phenomena He became famous for Fast Food Nation, which was later turned into a film.
Schlosser s subject matter may trend towards the pop world, but his cross of investigative journalism and postmodernist sociology is both fresh and informative It is obvious that he takes his material as seriously as any professional observer, and the reader reaps the reward of his work in the form of a much clearer understanding of the ways that American culture impacts the lives of real individuals.
In this book, Schlosser explores the American black market trade, as it has developed around three much different parts of society the world of marijuana cultivation and sale, the immigrant labor market in California s fruit fields, and the nearly legitimized pornography industry.
Although there is a bit of a disconnect from section to section which makes the book read almost like three , each is explored in detail, from multiple angles He uses many reliable sources, interviews, histories, and his own observation to bring the reader into these rarely seen realms that nevertheless constitute indispensable columns of the American industrial economic empire.
Eric Schlosser has made a name for himself by probing behind the scenes of popular American phenomena He became famous for Fast Food Nation, which was later turned into a film.
Schlosser s subject matter may trend towards the pop world, but his cross of investigative journalism and postmodernist sociology is both fresh and informative It is obvious that he takes his material as seriously as any professional observer, and the reader reaps the reward of his work in the form of a much clearer understanding of the ways that American culture impacts the lives of real individuals.
In this book, Schlosser explores the American black market trade, as it has developed around three much different parts of society the world of marijuana cultivation and sale, the immigrant labor market in California s fruit fields, and the nearly legitimized pornography industry.
Although there is a bit of a disconnect from section to section which makes the book read almost like three , each is explored in detail, from multiple angles He uses many reliable sources, interviews, histories, and his own observation to bring the reader into these rarely seen realms that nevertheless constitute indispensable columns of the American industrial economic empire.
Reefer Madness is a collection of 3 extended essays about the underground market in America for marijuana, migrant workers, and pornography The author has focused primarily on the economic aspects of the underground The topics themselves are quite interesting Reading about the strict laws against marijuana use are both frightening and mind boggling How can consuming something as harmless as a joint warrant a harsher sentence than what is often handed out to murderers or other violent criminals How is the US contributing to the influx of illegal immigrants in the US by failing to regulate agricultural growers who employ migrant laborers from Mexico for little to nothing What does the overwhelming consumption of porn in the US reveal about how out of touch mainstream thought and criticism regarding porn are from what many people feel about it privately The point being there is never an absence of food for thought Schlosser feels that few laws albeit strictly enforced ones and government regulation of certain areas like business and worker s rights are necessary to produce the kind of equal and fair economy and country that most people espouse Few would disagree with him there Ultimately though, this book is somewhat stilted and doesn t form a very cohesive whole While some of the essays seem to hold great promise they aren t developed enough and seem to be a little helter skelter As if the author gathered up his information from previous papers and interviews and decided to just throw it together to form a book You understand his position but not convincingly I am sure the author was riding a high after his previous success with Fast Food Nation but this book fizzles and eventually becomes less than hoped for Once again, interesting food for thought but to feel sufficiently informed about these subjects you ll have to turn elsewhere fordetailed and channeled knowledge.
I read and enjoyed Fast Food Nation several years ago This book is by the same author, Eric Schlosser.
None of the detail or commentary in this book is original, but it is put together in a compelling package and in a manor that makes you think about how some of the laws and prejudices that we have in place are that way, and it just may make you think to question that.
There is a quote in the ending narration of the book that talked about what Freedom means, and it said that if you are going to be a nation with Freedom then you have to be willing to accept the good and the not necessarily so good that comes with it That really hit home with me While I m not for example a supporter of pot smoking or paying immigrant farm workers extremely low wages, I don t necessarily think that the way our government currently treats these situations is the best either.
It is a compelling read, agree or disagree it should make you think about it.
Thumbs Up.
The FAST FOOD NATION author takes a look at underground, but still incredibly lucrative, markets in the US We also read about the varied ways different Presidential administrations governments have dealt with these markets For example, President Clinton famously joked about trying marijuana and not inhaling, but marijuana policies under his administration tended toward harsh and merciless And President Reagan s business first attitude decried regulations on worker treatment and environmental preservation as unfair and unnecessary, but his administration attacked adult oriented businesses and put them out of business even those whose wares seem quite mild to modern eyes.
This was somewhat disappointing after the first section The section on illegal immigration focused almost entirely on strawberry farmers That was fine as far as it went and I don t know that I ll ever buy strawberries again I was expecting abroad description of the labor underground and perhaps hoping for a further exploration of the illegal labor market in house cleaning and yards Those are the places that regular Americans most encounter illegals and I think would have beeninteresting than farm policy But we re talking here about my expectations he just wrote a different book with a narrower focus than I was wanting.
The third section, on the pornography trade, went completely off the tracks of what was sold, in my opinion Once again, what he wrote was interesting but it didn t really give much information about the pornography business The majority of the section was spent on Reuben Sturman, who was the king of porn for most of the latter half of the 20th century Rather than using Sturman as a jumping off point to describe the porn industry, Schlosser gives us a true crime style story He goes into great detail on Sturman s tax evasions and the IRS and FBI attempts to catch him for one thing or another Schlosser glosses over and gives small details on some of the things that would have highlighted the porn industry why do women get into it, who were the customers, etc in favor of the Sturman story While a story of Swiss banks and FBI forensic accounting can be interesting and a general topic of tax cheats in America would even somewhat fit the overall theme of the book , it wasn t a description of the specific portion of the underground economy porn being discussed The Phil Harvey story was very interesting and was exactly what the Sturman story should have been a description of one of the major industry figures whose story is told to flesh out the overall topic but doesn t take it over.
It was an interesting book overall and I liked reading it, but I think it could have been better.
This book proves how bloody hypocritical the American government is as if anyone doubted it already An in depth look at three of the US s most productive underground industries pornography, illegal immigrant labor, and the marijuana trade , Reefer Madness details the ridiculousness with which the US government approaches the processes that make up ten percent of the country s total business Judging by sales, Americans love pot and porn, but live in a country that has law about them that arestrict than most any other developed nation Americans support laws that say what they re doing is wrong and then go out and buy exactly what they re not supposed to buy The discrepancy between law and consumption is alarming and Schlosser points this out through primary accounts and excellent research Also alarming is the extent to which the government has mounted a witch hunt against these industries and crimes that arise from them, while ignoring other anddangerous ones When a person can spendtime in prison for minor marijuana possession than rape, there s something that s all screwed up Schlosser raises some interesting points that are well supported by fact The marijuana section alone is worth reading.
Like others who have read Fast Food Nation, I picked this up with great hope Like others who have read this book, I was sorely disappointed.
It is what it is a gussied up textbook version of marijuana, porn, and migrant labor statistics that feels as sterile as a World Book encyclopedia I would have been completely disinterested if the book was not peppered with personal accounts Still, in pages where these stories were absent, reading became unbearable, as if I was in high school again and been given a horrid research assignment I grit my teeth and read on, but at the end I felt really guilty I could have spent my time reading something else worthwhile about te same subject matter.
The only redeeming points about this book is the migrant labor section, especially during this immigration crisis the United States is enduring Perhaps if all were made to read this section, along with researching other informative texts, instead of carrying uninformed and rather ignorant opinions based on no facts at all, we would be much farther along in the immigration issue than we currently are.
written 6 03 This was a collection of three essays, one about marijuana law, one about immigrant strawberry pickers, and one about the porn industry I had already read the first one, found it on the internet, and liked it The other two were just as insightful and I agree with Schlosser on all points that the black market is too large to be ignored, that marijuana should be decriminalized, that corporations need to be regulated and the market cannot be trusted to serve the best interests of humans.
However, I was disappointed in this book It was nowhere near as good as Fast Food Nation Not as cohesive, and the book seemed to have been hastily put together as a follow up to FFN, riding on the wave of its success Did Schlosser sell out At least he got lots of press exposure for these ideas.
I learned a lot from these essays but feel they wereappropriate in the setting of the Atlantic Monthly than marketed as a cohesive piece of investigative journalism But keep up the good work, Schlosser.