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Comment: There is minimal water staining and rippling around the page edges. PLEASE READ FULL DESCRIPTION -ACCEPTABLE- This is a WELL WORN COPY!!! Please understand that this book has been heavily read. The internal pages may contain writing/highlighting/underlining or any combination of these. We guarantee that all pages are intact and legible. We guarantee the binding to be intact.
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Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America, Updated Edition Paperback – April 10, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (April 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520214498
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520214491
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This important, explosive report forcefully argues that the "war on drugs" is largely a sham, as the U.S. government is one of the world's largest drug pushers. The authors unearth close links between the CIA and Latin American drug networks which provide U.S. covert operations with financing, political leverage and intelligence. CIA-protected Panamian ruler Manuel Noriega supplied drugs, pilots and banking services to Honduran and Costa Rican cocaine smugglers who were partners in Reagan's support program for Nicaragua's Contras. Together, Honduran and Costa Rican traffickers supplied one-third of the cocaine smuggled into the U.S. in the 1980s, according to the authors. The Bush administration showers hundreds of millions of dollars on Latin American military elites in Guatemala, Colombia, etc. to enlist them in the "war on drugs." In so doing, charge the authors, the U.S. risks empowering the very forces that protect drug-pushing crime syndicates. The U.S. also gave covert aid to Afghan guerrillas who smuggled drugs in concert with Pakistan's military--an operation that produced half of the heroin consumed in the U.S. during the 1980s. Scott, a professor at UC-Berkeley, and San Francisco Chronicle economics editor Marshall call for immediate political action to end Washington's complicity. Their heavily documented book deserves a wide audience.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Coauthor Marshall's recent Drug Wars ( LJ 2/15/91) shows how Washington overlooks or supports drug trafficking as part of its efforts to thwart Third World communism around the world. This new book explores in detail the tangled connection between the Nicaraguan Contras, U.S. support for them, and drugs. Marshall and Scott argue that the United States might actually have furthered the flow of cocaine from Central America to the States by colluding with anti-Sandinista forces. Government intimidation of witnesses, a complacent Congress, and timid media have served to keep this a quiet story. Extensive interviews, government records, and secondary sources (enough, in fact, to produce over 60 pages of cited sources), are used to document in great detail how the war on communism took precedence over the war on drugs. An authoritiative account of a crucial but underpublicized issue.
- Cathy Seitz Whit aker, Univ. of Pittsburgh Lib.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Excellent book, responsibly written, clear and readable.
LLM
When this is not the case (as in the Iran-Contra scandal, for instance), then assistance becomes a great deal more problematic.
Herbert L Calhoun
I had always this question in mind and this book throws some light on it.
Luis Carlos Ramos

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This incredible volume was one of the first things I read when I began researching the issue of Contra cocaine trafficking for the San Jose Mercury News in 1995. To call the experience an eye-opener is a major understatement. Cocaine Politics not only confirmed to me that the Contra-drug link was for real, but that it was just a small part of an even more insidious picture: a secret and practically invisible world where intelligence operatives and criminals collude, wreak havoc, and almost always escape prosecution and accountability. When a producer from Dateline NBC, which did a show about my Dark Alliance series, asked me for recommended reading material on this issue, I unhesitatingly recommended Cocaine Politics. His reaction afterwards was memorable: "This is the most amazing book I've ever read. How come I've never heard any of this stuff before?" The answer is pretty obvious once you read this book. If the American public ever got wind of this story, our country and our government would never be the same again.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Ian Ross on May 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book has all the possibilities of being an academic pot boiler. Divided into two parts, "Right-Wing Narcoterrorism, the CIA, and the Contras," and "Exposure and Cover-Up" and covering twelve chapters, including a glossary of terms, the book is one part investigative journalism and another academic treatise. In general, the book details the toleration or complicity of the American government with drug traffickers to protect the interests of national security or covert operations.
The book has a number of advantages and disadvantages. First, while perhaps a moot point is that a considerable amount of discussion focuses on South America rather than on Central America as promised in the title. Second, and perhaps an editorial point, while there is a four-and-a- half page glossary of names and organizations at the back of the book, there is a sort of breathless spouting off of a succession of names and organizations in the book. This is distracting and tiresome for the reader. Third, even though there is a phenomenal amount of documentation (i.e., approximately 23 percent of the book (a total of 64 pages) is devoted to notes) and a 14-page index, the authors rely on the same basic sources, including Kerry's subcommittee report and american and mainstream newspaper and magazine coverage; few articles come from the spanish speaking press, and few interviews are conducted with sources. Fourth, while the book is highly descriptive and reads like a murder mystery, it is short on analysis, theory building or testing, and/or recommending policy changes. Regardless, this book is a disturbing and sobering necessity for those wishing to understand the so-called war on drugs in the United States and the reasons U.S. foreign policy in Latin America is problematic, a best.
Jeffrey Ian Ross
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Beckwith on July 17, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a densely packed book that serves more as a collation of other sources - the exhaustive task of assembling it was no small feat and much thanks is to be given to Mr. Scott and Mr. Marshall for doing so. The story of drug corruption south of the border during the seventies and eighties is an epic of near mind- numbing detail, with dozens of story lines and characters intersecting at multiple junctures. This is, admittedly, no easy read, nor, for that matter, is the violence and corruption the book describes easy to stomach. But if we are to understand anything about the drug wars, aside from our government's own culpability, we must recognize how the US's unending appetite for narcotics is an integral part - if not extension - of our Cold War legacy. Forget the sanctimonious anti-drug bumper sticker slogans. Cocaine Politics shows us the Big Lie behind the fatuous eighties era motto of "Just say no."
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ramsundar Lakshminarayanan on March 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Good reading.
The book gives an account of the dirty tricks involving Oliver North, the State Department and the Justice Department regarding the Central American activities.
The use of cocaine to finance the contra activities is well documented with opinions and lots of factual information.
Even the Israeli involvement in the central american politics is mentioned. Not to mention about the references to the Argentine hold over the Contras during the early phase of the war.
Although at times I have felt, there is too much of factual information to digest.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
I recommend this engrossing account of secret power struggles in Central America during the 1970's and 1980's. Reading this book was enlightening, and more than a little disturbing. I think few people realize how incredibly corrupt the CIA has been throughout its history.
The authors ordered chapters logically, with several sub-sections to break up the reading. The research is impeccable -- there are extensive notes referencing authoritative sources.
The only significant flaw is the writing style which is hard to follow at times. Imagine reading a novel which has dozens of characters, some of whom never show up again. The authors do not bother to explain in detail many of the people introduced in the book. I would have appreciated better summaries and background information.
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