Buy New
$24.45
Qty:1
  • List Price: $32.95
  • Save: $8.50 (26%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $6.95
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade Paperback – May 1, 2003


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$24.45
$19.69 $15.47

Frequently Bought Together

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade + Dark Alliance: The CIA, the Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion
Price for both: $42.83

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 734 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Revised edition edition (May 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556524838
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556524837
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“A fascinating, often meticulous unraveling of the byzantine complexities of the Southeast Asia drug trade . . . a pioneering book.”  —The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Alfred W. McCoy is a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He holds a doctorate in southeast Asian history from Yale University and is the recipient of the 2001 Goodman Prize from the Association for Asian Studies. He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
15
4 star
2
3 star
1
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 18 customer reviews
McCoy's book is an excellent source.
Michael Tozer
I highly recommend this book for anyone remotely interested in understanding how the world works.
Newton Ooi
This book spells out the CIA's involvement with Heroin smuggling since WWII.
Van Hamlin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By PEREMHERU on November 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Subject, Methods, Database:
A historical study of the opium and heroin trade and its political context, based on primary and secondary sources, including interviews with some of the key players of the developments in Indochina in the 1950s through 1970s.

Content:
The book falls into four main parts. Following a preface that illuminates the fascinating story behind the story and a brief introduction on the history of heroin, the first part deals with the cross-Atlantic heroin trade from the 1940s through 1970s, with special emphasis on the Mafia and Marseille based Corsican syndicates. The second part, taking up some 300 out of 530 pages (not counting the notes), describes in great detail the development of the Asian opium trade from colonial times up to the end of the Vietnam War. In the third section McCoy critically reviews the U.S. wars on drug from Nixon to Clinton, while the fourth part specifically addresses the question of CIA involvement in drug trafficking in the context of covert warfare in Afghanistan and Nicaragua during the 1980s and 1990s.
Opium had become a major commodity in world trade before it was outlawed early in the 20th century as a result of increased medical awareness of addiction and a global temperance movement. Prohibition drove opium into an illicit economy eventually controlled by upland drug lords and urban crime syndicates. By the late 1990s, 180 million people, or 4.2 percent of the world's adult population, were using illicit drugs worldwide, including 13.5 million for opiates, 14 million for cocaine, and 29 million for amphetamines.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TLR on October 12, 2013
Format: Paperback
McCoy was a PhD from Yale, a scholar in Asian history teaching at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia was widely ignored by mainstream reviewers of the time because of its linking drug lords to US military-intelligence men. Much of the information in the book came from interviews with eyewitnesses.

US support of anti-communists in Asia, who often financed their activities through poppy, opium and heroin growing and manufacturing, led to this situation. It really began in WWII, when mobsters like Lucky Luciano and Vito Genovese were let out of jail to help the US invasion of Sicily, and then to keep the unions in southern France out of the hands of the Communists in the post-war years. The latter focused on the port city of Marseille, which soon became a center of heroin refining and exporting (the "French Connection). In the '50s, the Shah of Iran put a stop to the massive poppy industry in that country. Some of the remnants of Chiang Kai-shek's troops fled into the jungles of Burma after their defeat by the Communists; the US pressured Burma into allowing those troops to stay there, and the CIA began supplying them with Company airlines (Civil Air Transport and Sea Supply Corporation, which soon became Air America).

The KMT troops in Burma grew opium to finance themselves, while they used US arms and sometimes CIA planes to fly the opium out to Thailand or Taiwan. The drug center of the region was the town of Chiang Mai in northwest Thailand. The commander of the Thai police, Gen. Phao, was in on the racket and was the CIA's man in that country. In the '50s, heroin became a major problem in the US.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G Erdwhile on September 26, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is really the seminal work on the subject, it has incredible research over many years, but grounded in truly remarkable research in the beginning. It is disheartening when one realises the same is happening in Afghanistan with opium and that during the war from 2001 to the present, American involvement has seen 1,700 Americans die and Afghanistan become the biggest trade of opium globally, earning billions of dollars for drug lords.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Not Moses on April 21, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The relevance of this book originally published in 1972 and updated in 1990 is its clarification of US government complicity in the stateside heroin and cocaine epidemics of the late '70s and mid '80s.

I don't expect, and the author makes no assertions, that the upper escehlons of the DOD and CIA =intended= to produce the drugs plagues that swept the US in those days. But the pragmatic cultivation, refining, marketing and distribution of the opium grown in Turkey and Asia, and the cocaine grown in South America to fund large-scale covert operations against America's enemies had that net effect.

The other reviewers have more than adequately synopsized McCoy's =exhaustive= and solidly documented work. His much newer work is similarly researched and documented, and may be of interest as well: See =Colonial Crucible: Empire in the Making of the Modern American State= (2009), =Policing America's Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State= (2009), and =A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror= (2006).

Additionally, those who like Peter Dale Scott's work will probably be very comfortable with McCoy's and vice-versa.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search