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Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War Paperback – December 1, 1998
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"Shattered Lives argues its points poignantly and persuasively, putting a human face on the drug war better than anybody could have wished for. This is an important and timely book, and the authors deserve a lot of credit. I really do believe that if more people saw this book and spent even just ten minutes reading through it, there would be a shift in public acceptance regarding continuing the 'drug war'.
"Shattered Lives deserves to be viewed as much as read, and it is the sort of book that needs to be displayed on everybody's coffee table rather than put away on a bookshelf. Ideally, this book will get the public response it so well deserves." -- Paul Armentano, The Leaflet, Dec. 3, 1998
"Shattered Lives is a must - a wake-up call to every American. The book is beautifully designed with photographs and stories of ordinary people caught in the web of drug war excesses. Show it to people who think we need a drug war! Compare the 'crimes' with the punishments. See how freedom and justice vanish from America. For each person caught, a whole family suffers. A great gift idea." -- Clifton Thorton, Efficacy, November 1998
"Shattered Lives pages are bursting with pictures and sidebars. The designers have done a nice job. If only high schools were using it as a workbook. (A replacement for DARE, perhaps?) It was written for and in part by the poor souls devoured by the war on drugs. Many of the sidebars were written by current inmates. Their accounts and accompanying photographs are touching, to say the least.
"It dawned on me after finishing Shattered Lives that the way to end the drug war was right there in those pictures. All those families torn apart, all those innocent people steamrolled by the government. The government is creating the enemy army right now. Once enough people are victimized, it's only a matter of time before this army starts to march." -- Jonathan Ellis, Liberty magazine, February 1999
"Shattered Lives is an incredible book. I challenge anyone to read it and not be moved, both emotionally and intellectually." -- Louie Free, WASN radio personality, Youngstown OH, Dec. 13, 1998
"An everyman's edition of People magazine. Clearly written and concisely structured, the book's ten chapters rely on photographs to help tell the subjects' stories. The pictures, both color and black-and white, show warm and compassionate human faces attesting to the otherwise cold hard facts of the Drug War's inhumanity. The snapshots prove that Drug War prisoners of war belie criminal stereotypes. Sure, there are a few youthful Deadheads and dreadlocked Rastas, but suburban soccer moms, grandma and grandpa types and plenty of blue-collar workers also find themselves behind bars, mainly because of mandatory sentencing laws.
"Not only do the short profiles of each defendant keep the reader browsing along at a quick clip, humor also reiterates the human element in Shattered Lives, with section headings such as "Urine the Money," an expose of the burgeoning drug testing industry." -- Russ Tarby, Syracuse New Times, Nov. 4-11, 1998
"An intelligent and thorough new book by Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad and Virginia Resner, Shattered Lives lays it all out and provides plenty of food for thought." -- Joanne Forman, New Unionist, Minneapolis MN, Dec. 1998
From the Publisher
We have spared no expense to produce this book, which we think is one of the most important books of our era, because it dares to discuss issues that the powerful and the media have chosen to sweep under the rug. This information is shocking, but vital to every American citizen, judge, policymaker and journalist.
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Top Customer Reviews
Recently, Amy Pofahl, (who is featured in this book) was granted sentence commutation by President Clinton. She had already served nearly ten years of a no-parole 24-year sentence on conspiracy charges related to her ex-husband's participation in an Ecstasy production and distribution ring. He got three years of probation in the US, but also served a four-year sentence in Germany.
Overall, this book is very important and well laid out. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is overly emotional because it's incredibly sad how our own government treats these people.
The authors have done an excellent job of portraying the *human* side of this war against our own people - most of whom are otherwise law-abiding, productive citizens. The prisoners in this ill-conceived war are also for the most part loving family members, and the forced separation of children from their parents in the name of the war on drugs should be viewed as a crime against humanity.
The photos and stories of ordinary folks caught in the life-shattering juggernaut of drug prohibition are immensely potent. They do not make for a pleasant or easy read, depicting as they do the tragic story of archaic anti-drug laws wrecking the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. People who - by any rational standard - do not deserve anything like the decades-long sentences so casually meted out by a system gone out of control. But concerned citizens have a responsibility to face the consequences of our failed drug policy, however painful this might be.
Please read this book if you care about fairness and humanity and how these have "gone missing" in America. You'll be amazed and appalled at just how far drug prohibition has removed us from the ideals of liberty and, especially, the right to be left alone. Perhaps more than any other single book, Shattered Lives helps us to *feel* the wrongness of our mean-spirited and futile drug prohibition policies.