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Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by [Hari, Johann]
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Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Length: 400 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the war on drugs is not what we see on our TV screens. In Chasing the Scream, Johann Hari shares his discoveries through the riveting true stories he uncovered on a 30,000-mile journey – from the founder of the war on drugs who stalked and killed Billie Holiday, to a transgender crack dealer in Brooklyn, to the only country that has ever decriminalised all drugs, with remarkable results. You will never look at addiction – or our society – in the same way again.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2532 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (15 January 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00P9BOXWG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #13,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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So facinating, covers the world wide drug problem with much needed thought and empathy
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This is a good book, though not a great one. Perhaps my reading was coloured by having heard Johann Hari speak about it in various forums for several years before I actually read it. Its strength is in Hari's comprehensive account of the last hundred years of global drug policy, and how the criminalisation of drug use has made the majority of the world's population worse off.

There is no denying that Hari has done his research, and uncovered plenty of great and original material while studying this subject. I would not hesitate to recommend 'Chasing The Scream' as a starting point for anyone interested in learning more about the subject. I wasn't too taken by Hari's regular injection of himself into the narrative, however, although I understand why he did it. I also found some of his phrasing a little grating at times. He is much better at summarising history than narrating, but there are plenty of wise nuggets and anecdotes to be uncovered along the way.

Early into the book, I enjoyed this summary: "It's hard to sit with a complex problem, such as the human urge to get intoxicated, and accept that it will always be with us, and will always cause some problems (as well as some pleasures). It is much more appealing to be told a different message – that it can be ended. That all these problems can be over, if only we listen, and follow."

And during a section where he explained the effects of alcohol prohibition, this is a great analogy: "All that violence [...] produced by prohibition ended. That's why today, it is impossible to imagine gun-toting kids selling Heineken shooting kids on the next block for selling Corona Extra. The head of Budweiser does not send hit men to kill the head of Coors.
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The saddest thing about this book is that as profound and clearly written as it is, the insane and futile "war on drugs" will probably continue virtually unabated - two Australians are awaiting death sentences by firing squad right now in Indonesia for playing their parts in the war. So how is it that against all the evidence and all the suspect ethical and moral issues surrounding the death penalty, the war continues? Well, read the book and it becomes evident - the war is not really against drugs, it's aimed at minorities and the poor, and it is maintained by people who are making obscene amounts of money by keeping it going. This book should be read by every politician and every law-maker in the world. But I won't be holding my breath. Such people are unlikely to part with their long-held and fundamentalist beliefs.
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This meticulously researched account of the 'war on drugs' should be in the hands of every law-maker who even attempts to govern 'illegal drugs'. Drugs are a booming economy; it's no wonder that every man and his proverbial dog wants a slice of that pie, and that's where it's most dangerous. Drugs are a self-fulfilling pyramid scheme, it's so true. Every addict needs to sell something (whether it's them or their drugs) in order to continue on the addicted cycle, or in the words of Hari, what they have 'bonded' to. If we take away the black market prohibition cycle, we'll take away the twisted greed that leaves everyone from cartels to governments wanting a slice of it all. I'd love to see a world where we allow grown adults to make decisions regarding what they'll put in their own bodies, for whatever reasons (and yes, most of that has to do with just surviving this crazy landscape of society) for the time they need to adjust / rehabilitate. Tax it, regulate it, sell it. It's common sense and when the cartels and law makers stop gaining from the system they've got going (however that might be, but hopefully it's enough for them to decide to change the system), we might all just benefit.
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Excellent and well researched look at the history of the war on drugs, and it's repercussions around the world. Full of personal stories, research and historical context. Some have attacked it for being written too emotively, however as someone who has had significant exposure to drug abuse I can attest to the fact that it is an emotive topic, the book is trying very hard to humanise drug addiction and adding emotion is an important step in achieving this. I not only recommend this book, I think it should be highschool reading.
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This is one of the best books I have ever read - it clarified my whole perception of The War on Drugs and significantly changed how I think and talk about drugs and drug users. I couldn't recommend Chasing the Scream highly enough, it's captivating, well-written and will no doubt have a profound effect on policy over the coming years.
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Riveting, intellegent and well researched wih a storybook narrative and conversatonal writing style. Read it twice in 2 weeks, i was so taken by the logic and alternative discourse to the status quo!! Revolutionary Must Read. Best book of 2015 by far! Seriously make time... and prepare to be changed!!
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We are so scared of the though of drugs in our community we can't see options which might be game changes. This book challenges our conventional wisdom with strategies which must be looked at if we wish to redefine drug treatment and screw those who profit from drugs via organised crime.
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