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Humboldt: Life on America's Marijuana Frontier Hardcover – June 18, 2013
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--Jonathan Schuppe, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of A Chance to Win
"Emily Brady escorts you into the redwood-studded mountains of northern California where a secretive marijuana culture thrives-for now-outside the law. Deeply reported and populated with vibrant characters spanning generations, Humboldt documents the real lives behind America's favorite high. A fascinating and timely read."
--David Kinney, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and author of The Big One
"Emily Brady has written a terrifically gripping book about America's confused relationship with marijuana. A tour-de-force of investigative journalism, Brady takes us inside the world of pot growers in God's own country, and illuminates the policy issues around legalization in a series of beautifully rendered character portraits." --Suketu Mehta, author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist MAXIMUM CITY: Bombay Lost and Found
"In her vivid, hypnotic HUMBOLDT, Emily Brady brings the notoriously secretive pot-growing community of Northern California to life through the lives of four very different Humboldters, whose nuanced stories form together like wisps of smoke." -Julian Rubinstein, author of the international bestseller Ballad of the Whiskey Robber
"Emily Brady has written a masterful opus dopus-to borrow a phrase from her book-chronicling the dreams and struggles of a community that has become infamous worldwide for their controversial cash crop. In Humboldt, she takes a clear-eyed look at the marijuana industry: its growers, trimmers, dealers, and family-run businesses. Readers will come away with a newfound and nuanced understanding of pot, but this is really a book about people whose outrageous, funny, and heartbreaking stories you won't soon forget."
--Brooke Hauser, author of THE NEW KIDS: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens
"In her book Humboldt, Emily Brady takes us on a rowdy off-road trip into the homeland of marijuana moonshining, where pit bulls guard the fields, cash fills up holes in the ground, and it's a bad idea to ask anyone you encounter what they do for a living."
--Bruce Porter, New York Times bestselling author of Blow
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
The geographical setting of this story is one of the most scenic patches of California's rural Northwestern corner, a landscape so rugged that the coastal highway builders saw it as impassible, avoided it and settled for routing highway 101 through the narrow twisting South Fork of the Eel River canyon to connect San Francisco to the state's northernmost cities of Eureka and Arcata, before winding it's way up the coast to the Oregon border. This is the lush landscape made green by the world's tallest Redwood trees and an equally powerful, though much shorter non-native plant that goes by many names: Marijuana, Cannabis, Pot, Ganja, Hemp, Reefer, Mary-Jane, Weed and a plethora of names for the many cultivars produced by the clandestine farmers who populate the area famously known as The Emerald Triangle.
Through the detailed portraits of the book's four main subjects and supported by many lesser characters, the Drug War's stereotype of the pot grower is unraveled.Read more ›
Bottom line: illegal marijuana grows have been a staple of the Emerald Triangle (Trinity, Humboldt, and Mendocino counties) for decades after the decline of the logging industry and the rise of illegal but highly profitable American-grown marijuana. Currently, outdoor grows, forest service grows, and indoor/greenhouse hybrid grows are all options on the table, producing various levels of risk, profit/loss ratios, and environmental destruction. The book appears to argue that California's marijuana laws, in current violation of federal drug laws (allowing for possession under an ounce to be a misdemeanor and allowing for controlled medical usage/cultivation) has also allowed the rural illegal cultivation industry to continue to flourish, while increasing the risk of crime and violence, along with tax-free revenues for those who are canny and cagey enough to make it to harvest season.Read more ›
The author, in telling the story of 4 main characters throughout the narrative, does a fantastic job of capturing the unseen underbelly of Humboldt from all sides. She does so in an engaging and well-written, easy-to-read manner. It is obvious, even before reading the "Author's Remarks" at the end of the book, that the she made a serious commitment to researching this book, and to gaining the trust of the four individuals that are central to this story. Her approach is one of even-handedness, relating all sides with very little prejudice. While it is apparent throughout that the book is slanted toward an opinion that cannabis should be legalized, the rationale presented along the way is sound and well-developed.
A pleasant and easy read for anyone who has visited the area, or is just curious about how Northern California became the epicenter for domestic cannabis production. Very well done, and my kudos to the author. One of the more thought-provoking books I've read in some time, given that up until a day or two ago, I have been generally on the "pot should continue to be illegal" side of the fence. After reading this book, I'm squarely on the fence, and perhaps tilting a bit towards agreeing with the author.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Semi-interesting tales about a few people related to the Humboldt marijuana scene, but not very well written, and not much of a factual overview of the pot industry therePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you want to know where the worlds best herb comes form this book is a good start.Published 4 months ago by NorthBaySound
This is one of the finest pieces of book-length journalism I've read in ages. It's remarkable, yes, that Ms. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dallas Murphy
Non Fiction can be dry and academic. Not so with this writer. I found myself reading every page and not skipping around.
Good information told in an interesting way. Read more
I've lived in Humboldt County since 1996, including a couple years as a writer for the Northcoast Journal, yet reading Brady's book I feel I'm learning about a large segment of my... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Jim Hight
Bought for a rhetoric class to debate over the legalization of marijuana. I did not get the point of this book. Bunch of mini stories that didn't really tie in together very well. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Madison Yeats
Felt like I was reading a long newspaper article. Misty plot did not hold my intense interest.Published 19 months ago by Frank Stephens
As a native of Northern Humboldt I found the book to be accurate, fairly unbiased and well written. A few things that the book doesn't touch on us the rift marijuana has caused... Read morePublished on April 23, 2014 by Karen Hendricks