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Drugs: America's Holy War 1st Edition

5 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0789038418
ISBN-10: 0789038412
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a concise overview of the drug wars in the US over the past few decades. Recommended." -- Choice, March 2010

About the Author

Arthur Benavie is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and has won multiple awards for his work in economic theory and teaching excellence.  He has published several books, including Deficit Hysteria: A Common Sense Look at America's Rush to Balance the Budget (1998), and Social Security Under the Gun (2003). 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (November 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789038412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789038418
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #742,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By B. Paul Lindsay on January 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a superb book which lays out clearly the history of the war on drugs, the causes, the terrible costs and consequences, and proposals for moving beyond the drug war. It would be a great book to use in undergraduate classes and for concerned citizens. It is filled with facts and thoroughly documented. I learned much that I did not know about the topic. The book appeals to the general reader with many interesting stories and illustrations. I found the history of the drug war particularly interesting and the chapter on civil liberties particularly chilling. This book needs to be in the hands of the new U. S. Attorney General Eric Holder and his staff at in incoming administration's Department of Justice.
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Format: Paperback
Art Benavie has written a scathing indictment of the Drug War, which should leave no one in doubt that America's drug policies need to be radically re-oriented. After a discussion of the history of the War on Drugs, Benavie goes on to a careful analysis of its effects on crime, public health, civil liberties, and the budget. The perverse effects of treating drug addiction as a criminal problem rather than as a disease are thoroughly portrayed, with facts, figures, and anecdotes, all copiously documented in footnotes at the end of the book. Anyone who knows someone who has been caught up in this process should read this book. Especially our political leaders who have adopted the wrong paradigm, leading to mounting corruption, crime, and disease.
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Format: Paperback
What a pleasure to find an economist who lays out the case for enlightened public policy with such clarity and precision. Benavie knows this particular subject inside and out, and makes compelling arguments that the cost of America's war on drugs is far too high.

The book is beautifully written, and the arguments are carefully presented.

I've always sensed that the war on drugs was misguided. Now I feel well-prepared to defend my views with an arsenal of hard-nosed facts.

Thank you, Dr. Benavie.
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Format: Paperback
While attending and exhibiting at the National Conference of Social Sciences I met hundreds of teachers who were amazed that anyone was challenging accepted US Govt dogma on drug policy. Most agreed that the War on Drugs was a failure but when prompted, they had spent little time in their classrooms discussing modern prohibition: America's so-called War on Drugs. So, it was to my sincere elated surprise to hear of a book written by an economist researching the effectiveness of the drug war. If any good, I thought, it could be a tool for many teachers ready to take on this policy's effectiveness.

Drugs--America's Holy War is not only a great teaching aide but an interesting literary trip as I read how Arthur Benavie set out to find what is "good" about the drug war. Benevie, like Edwin Starr's famous 1970 song, found that the answer was "absolutely nuthin'!"

Benavie realizes early on that Thomas Sowell's famous quote was going to be the reason for our drug war: "policies are judged by their consequences, but crusades are judged by how good they make the crusaders feel." Throughout his book, Benavie shows the relationship between the reality and the hysteria that helps the crusaders feel good about their drug war. (pg 90 and many other references). He also addresses the perspectives of the drug czar vs. science in several terrific chapters, and he even pokes Body Count authors Bill Bennett and John Walters in the eye, "pointing" out that they elected to omit any harm caused by the drug war. (pg 108)

His book finishes up with several genuine and well thought out suggestions for a post-drug war policy. Drugs--America's Holy War is well detailed with quotes from many sources: judges, cops, economists, legislators, writers, scientists and more.
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