From Publishers Weekly
Before the Drug Enforcement Administration was created in 1973, before the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs was founded in 1968, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) served as the countrys primary drug law enforcement agency. In this thoroughly researched history, Valentine (The Phoenix Program; The Hotel Tacloban, etc.) offers an in-depth look at the FBNs obscure organization and its various activities, which lasted from 1930 until the end of the 60s. Valentine writes extensively about Harry J. Anslinger, the commissioner whose "personality, policies and appointments" defined the agency and the governments war on drugs for more than 30 years. He describes how FBN officers were trained to "make arrests, gather evidence for presentation in court, test and handle seized narcotics, tail suspects without being seen, and rule their informants with an iron fist." Drawing upon interviews with former agents and federal officers (such as Howard Chappell, George Gaffney and Col. Tully Acampora), Valentine also provides firsthand accounts of bureau operations both at home and abroad, and of business relationships fostered among FBN ranks. Despite the volumes ambitious premise and Valentines hard work, however, this lengthy history will probably fail to engross most casual readers since its material proves dense and, occasionally, difficult. But for political historians and those already interested in the history of the war on drugs, Valentines unearthing of rare primary sources should prove invaluable. 16 pages of b&w photos
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“Valentine’s book is an important and necessary story that reads like a coherent speed freak’s monologue.”—Counterpunch