Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market

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HMH, Apr 1, 2004 - Social Science - 320 pages
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New York Times Bestseller: The shadowy world of “off the books” businesses—from marijuana to migrant workers—brought to life by the author of Fast Food Nation.
 
America’s black market is much larger than we realize, and it affects us all deeply, whether or not we smoke pot, rent a risqué video, or pay our kids’ nannies in cash. In Reefer Madness, the award-winning investigative journalist Eric Schlosser turns his exacting eye to the underbelly of American capitalism and its far-reaching influence on our society.
 
Exposing three American mainstays—pot, porn, and illegal immigrants—Schlosser shows how the black market has burgeoned over the past several decades. He also draws compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, and how big business learns—and profits—from the underground.
 
“Captivating . . . Compelling tales of crime and punishment as well as an illuminating glimpse at the inner workings of the underground economy. The book revolves around two figures: Mark Young of Indiana, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole for his relatively minor role in a marijuana deal; and Reuben Sturman, an enigmatic Ohio man who built and controlled a formidable pornography distribution empire before finally being convicted of tax evasion. . . . Schlosser unravels an American society that has ‘become alienated and at odds with itself.’ Like Fast Food Nation, this is an eye-opening book, offering the same high level of reporting and research.” —Publishers Weekly
 

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Reefer madness: sex, drugs, and cheap labor in the American black market

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Atlantic Monthly correspondent Schlosser made a muckraking splash with Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (an LJ Best Book of 2001). He continues to extend the investigative ... Read full review

Contents

1 Reefer Madness
11
2 In the Strawberry Fields
75
3 An Empire of the Obscene
109
Out of the Underground
211
More Madness
223
Notes
241
Bibliography
303
Acknowledgments
313
Index
315
About the Author
338
Back Cover
339
Spine
340
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Eric Schlosser is a correspondent for the Atlantic. His work has also appeared in Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, the Nation, and the New Yorker. He has received a National Magazine Award and a Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for reporting. In 1998 Schlosser wrote an investigative piece on the fast food industry for Rolling Stone. What began as a two-part article for the magazine turned into the New York Times bestseller Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. His other books include Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market and Chew on This: Everything You Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food, a children’s book he cowrote with Charles Wilson.

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