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Crack In America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice Paperback – September 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0520202429 ISBN-10: 0520202422 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (September 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520202422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520202429
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #260,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Those with an aversion to academic tomes should not be put off by this book's citations and tables or by the weighty prose of a few of the contributors. Many of the articles are very readable, even absorbing.... -- The Nation, Jo Ann Kawell

From the Inside Flap

"The editors and authors have produced an important work in the ongoing debate about the effect and efficacy of U.S. drug policy. Authoritative in its analysis and comprehensive in its embrace, this work will contribute importantly to the policy debate. A must-read for anybody concerned about developing a strategy to improve the health and well-being of our communities."—Ronald Dellums, Member of Congress

"Crack in America is a devastating, sad, angry, though always scholarly book about the many failures of our national drug policy. The contributors make a convincing case that America is unable to solve the problems associated with crack because it is unwilling to deal with extreme economic and racial inequality except by stigmatizing and punishing the unequal. The book is of urgent importance—a powerfully persuasive and illuminating inquiry about America. I wish it could be required reading for the White House and all the agencies responsible for the country's drug problems."—Herbert J. Gans, Columbia University

"Indispensable for understanding the real roots of hard drug abuse in America's inner cities. It shows brilliantly how our drug policies have made our drug problem worse and points the way out of the drug war morass. A passionate and ultimately hopeful book."—Kurt Schmoke, Mayor of Baltimore

"Crack in America accurately and forcefully examines in detail the myth and the reality of crack. It is a must-read for any American concerned about drugs in our society and for any reader valuing honesty and scholarship compellingly presented."—Robert W. Sweet, U.S. District Judge

"A penetrating analysis by a variety of scholars which explodes many of the government propagated myths regarding crack cocaine."—Joseph D. McNamara, Stanford University

"Reinarman, Levine and their colleagues bring a keen sociological sensibility to their analysis of our contemporary moral panic. These essays make clear that crack policy is more the problem than the so-called crack epidemic. And they go on to disentangle the intricate ways in which American culture and economy, and particularly our racism, classicism and sexism, are implicated both in the use of crack and its repression."—Frances Fox Piven, Dept. of Political Science, CUNY Graduate Center

"Scholarly, lucid, and readable. . .the most original and thoughtful analysis of the American crack panic. The contributors demonstrate compellingly the relationship between social justice and public health."—Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Harvard Medical School

"An immensely rich book and an extraordinary source of information. . . . Since crack is not only America's but the world's latest demon drug, and since rational alternatives to repression are at the order of the day the world over, the book is indispensable reading for concerned students, scholars, politicians, and citizens everywhere."—Henner Hess, Goethe-Universitat (Frankfurt, Germany)

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
In Crack in America, Reinerman and Levine have brought together a wealth of facts and expertise. The authors' chapters are well-written, and hardhitting. Their arguments are carefully composed, and the authors present sensible alternative models. The editors and their contributors have obviously spent time and effort researching the medical, legal and social components of drugs in America and elsewhere. Reinerman, Levine, and their contributors - Loren Siegel and Ira Glasser from the ACLU, Troy Duster, Ethan Nadelman from the Lindesmith Center, Marsha Rosenbaum and Sheigla Murphy, et al, are informed by a sense of social context - the issues of class, race, the economy and popular culture. They are sharp-minded thinkers and writers, who obviously should be involved in the creation of our nation's drug policies. The answers aren't easy, but if we are going to start anywhere we first need to ask the right questions. Levine's and Reinman's book poses substantial questions and issues that must be addressed if we plan to be a more inclusive society, and not a culture that marginalizes and demonizes people in trouble.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frederick M. Toates on August 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a truly brilliant book that utterly destroys the logic (if one could call it that) behind the so-called war on drugs. It is written in a highly accessible language such as to be appropriate for anyone with a concern for this topic. The genuine sympathy and concern of the various authors shines out from each chapter. In my view, it should be required reading for every social worker, judge, police officer and policy maker. I am normally a stern critic but I cannot praise it too highly.

Frederick Toates
Professor of Biological Psychology, The Open University, United Kingdom.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm telling you this book is really enlightening and shocking. You won't find a better laid argument against our nation's drug policies. Must Read!
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