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The Murderers: The Shocking Story of the Narcotic Gangs Hardcover – January 1, 1961

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

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Hardcover, January 1, 1961

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B000KRT7JS
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Farrar, Straus and Cudahy; First Edition (January 1, 1961)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.05 pounds
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 5 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on July 23, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Historical account 1930-1960 of the drug war - Nothing has changed in 100 years
By coldcasereader on July 23, 2018
The Murderers is an important historical work that documents the development of the “War on Drugs” in America. As you read this book, you realize that the cases Harry J. Anslinger describes from 1930-1960 are the same cases that exist in 2018. With all the money that has been spent and the lives lost over the decades, nothing has been accomplished with drug prohibition other than for many people who are running the drug business at the upper levels to make massive profits. One of the most amazing things about this book, is how frankly Anslinger admits that drug money corrupts law enforcement, the judiciary, and politicians.
Anslinger describes accounts with high society drug addicts and how they are treated very differently from poor street addicts. The rich addicts are sent to hospitals for drug weaning programs or in the case of Joe McCarthy the leader of the McCarthy Era political communist purges of the Cold War in Congress during the 1940’s and 1950’s, McCarthy is given a “legal” drug supply through a discrete pharmacy in Washington DC arranged by Anslinger so that McCarthy’s opiate addiction does not become public knowledge and a threat to national security. Anslinger does not use McCarthy’s name in the book but magazine articles published subsequent to the “the Murderers” printing outed the politician.
Some of the points that I find most interesting about this book is the arguments on how to manage illegal drug use have remained the same in the past 100 years. A group of people believed then that addicts should be treated as medical cases and to some extent, Anslinger supports that path but he clearly believes that narcotics should be illegal and narcotic trafficking should be criminal.
To me the book documents that drug prohibition, like alcohol prohibition, generates so much illegal cash that corrupts our social systems and that criminalizing narcotic use keeps few people who want drugs from obtaining them. Drugs are used as part of a system of organized crime and global political extortion that includes prostitution, drug running and other criminal enterprises that have existed back into at least the 1800’s when China engaged the west during the Opium Wars.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 8, 2014
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