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"In Assassin of Youth, Alexandra Chasin gives us a lyrical, digressive, funny, and ultimately riveting quasi-biography of Anslinger. Her treatment of the man, his times, and the world that arose around and through him is part cultural history, part kaleidoscopic meditation. Each of the short chapters is anchored in a historical document--the court decision in Webb v. US (1925), a 1935 map of East Harlem, FBN training materials from the 1950s, a personal letter from the Treasury Department in 1985--each of which opens onto Anslinger and his context. From the Pharmacopeia of 1820 to death of Sandra Bland in 2015, from the Pennsylvania Railroad to the last passenger pigeon, and with forays into gangster lives, CIA operatives, and popular detective stories, Chasin covers impressive ground. Assassin of Youth is as riotous and loose a history of drug laws as can be imagined--and yet it culminates in an arresting and precise revision of the emergence of drug prohibition. ..."--Publisher description.
A thought-provoking study of the mainstreaming of the gay and lesbian consumer examines the relationship between the recent marketing aimed at the gay community and the movement that struggles to achieve equal rights for gay men and lesbians. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
The 1984 explosion of the Union Carbide chemical plant in Bhopal, India was undisputedly one of the world's worst industrial disasters. Some have argued that the resulting litigation provided an "innovative model" for dealing with the global distribution of technological risk; others consider the disaster a turning point in environmental legislation; still others argue that Bhopal is what globalization looks like on the ground. Kim Fortun explores these claims by focusing on the dynamics and paradoxes of advocacy in competing power domains. She moves from hospitals in India to meetings with lawyers, corporate executives, and environmental justice activists in the United States to show how the disaster and its effects remain with us. Spiraling outward from the victims' stories, the innovative narrative sheds light on the way advocacy works within a complex global system, calling into question conventional notions of responsibility and ethical conduct. Revealing the hopes and frustrations of advocacy, this moving work also counters the tendency to think of Bhopal as an isolated incident that "can't happen here."
Of all the plants men have ever grown, none has been praised and denounced as often as marihuana (Cannabis sativa). Throughout the ages, marihuana has been extolled as one of man's greatest benefactors and cursed as one of his greatest scourges. Marihuana is undoubtedly a herb that has been many things to many people. Armies and navies have used it to make war, men and women to make love. Hunters and fishermen have snared the most ferocious creatures, from the tiger to the shark, in its herculean weave. Fashion designers have dressed the most elegant women in its supple knit. Hangmen have snapped the necks of thieves and murderers with its fiber. Obstetricians have eased the pain of childbirth with its leaves. Farmers have crushed its seeds and used the oil within to light their lamps. Mourners have thrown its seeds into blazing fires and have had their sorrow transformed into blissful ecstasy by the fumes that filled the air. Marihuana has been known by many names: hemp, hashish, dagga, bhang, loco weed, grass-the list is endless. Formally christened Cannabis sativa in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus, marihuana is one of nature's hardiest specimens. It needs little care to thrive. One need not talk to it, sing to it, or play soothing tranquil Brahms lullabies to coax it to grow. It is as vigorous as a weed. It is ubiquitous. It fluorishes under nearly every possible climatic condition.
When we think about young people dealing drugs, we tend to picture it happening on urban streets, in disadvantaged, crime-ridden neighborhoods. But drugs are used everywhere—even in upscale suburbs and top-tier high schools—and teenage users in the suburbs tend to buy drugs from their peers, dealers who have their own culture and code, distinct from their urban counterparts. In Code of the Suburb, Scott Jacques and Richard Wright offer a fascinating ethnography of the culture of suburban drug dealers. Drawing on fieldwork among teens in a wealthy suburb of Atlanta, they carefully parse the complicated code that governs relationships among buyers, sellers, police, and other suburbanites. That code differs from the one followed by urban drug dealers in one crucial respect: whereas urban drug dealers see violent vengeance as crucial to status and security, the opposite is true for their suburban counterparts. As Jacques and Wright show, suburban drug dealers accord status to deliberate avoidance of conflict, which helps keep their drug markets more peaceful—and, consequently, less likely to be noticed by law enforcement. Offering new insight into both the little-studied area of suburban drug dealing, and, by extension, the more familiar urban variety, Code of the Suburb will be of interest to scholars and policy makers alike.
Why is Dave Kehr "one of the best writers on film the country has produced"? Jonathan Rosenbaum, his highly regarded successor as movie critic at the "Chicago Reader" from 1987 through 2008, has a good answer in his Foreword to this volume: "For the range of films and filmmakers treated, the analytical tools employed, and the intellectual confidence and lucidity of his arguments, Kehr's prose really has no parallels." In this "sequel" to "When Movies Mattered" (published in 2011), Kehr deploys those gifts in 50 brilliant pieces, ranging from a thoughtful discussion of the sobering Holocaust documentary "Shoah" to an irresistible celebration of the raucous American comedy "Used Cars." Although that first book featured pieces only from the "Reader," this volume also contains essays from "Chicago" magazine, where Kehr's column on movies appeared from August 1979 through September 1986 (his work in the "Reader" appeared from late 1974 through late summer in 1986). As with "When Movies Mattered," most of this material (and all of it from "Chicago" magazine) has not been reprinted or available online since its original publication. Readers will now have the opportunity to know more of what Rosenbaum calls "a body of work that . . . strikes me as being the most remarkable extended stretch of auteurist [director centered] criticism in American journalism." Although Kehr ended his career as a critic toward the end of 2013 when he stopped writing his weekly DVD column for the "New York Times" to become an adjunct curator in the film department of the Museum of Modern Art, his reputation will be further enhanced by this second collection of his outstanding work--definitely must reading for cinephiles.

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