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Hep-Cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams: A History of America's Romance With Illegal Drugs
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Hep-Cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams: A History of America's Romance With Illegal Drugs

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  35 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
"Fascinating, well researched and finely honed... This is a must read." -- Judge Peggy F. Hora, California BenchOnce upon a time in America, morphine and cocaine were routinely sold in pharmacies, and "hop heads" gathered in shadowy basements to smoke opium. So begins Hep-Cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams, Jill Jonnes's ground-breaking history of illegal drugs in America. Jonne ...more
Paperback, 510 pages
Published April 28th 1999 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published 1996)
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Mark
Nov 23, 2014 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: history, psychedelics
Despite shelving it on my "psychedelics" shelf, this book is actually more about hard drugs. I am going to give this one an extra star, more than it possibly deserves, simply because of the great detail it provides regarding the history of the DEA and its predecessor, the FBN (Federal Bureau of Narcotics). Harry Anslinger must have a special shelf in Hell on which he is perched, beside J. Edgar Hoover and Dick Nixon. The absolute corruption attending Ansliger's tenure and legacy as head of FBN i ...more
David Ward
Dec 15, 2011 David Ward rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, drugs
Hep-Cats, Narcs, and Pipe Dreams: A History of America's Romance With Illegal Drugs by Jill Jonnes (Scribner 1996)(362.29) is a pretty well-informed history of the US's history of the illegal drug trade since 1860. The book has a thorough section of the post-1970's history of cocaine in America including the South America narcotraficantes and the crack explosion. Quite well researched. My rating: 6.5/10, finished 12/15/11.
Jessica
Apr 13, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
A history of drug use in America that is eye-opening and sometimes surprising. I especially was interested in the very early history. Some great illustrations and photographs as well. I am a fan of off-the-wall or unusual history books--stuff you won't learn in school, and this book doesn't disappoint.
Mindy
Apr 06, 2010 Mindy marked it as to-read
Shelves: didn-t-finish
An incredible account of the history of drugs in America. The author doesn't leave anything out and yet, creates an engaging story that keeps the reader flipping through pages like it's a mystery novel. Never got the chance to finish it! I adored the portion that described the jazz scene, however.
Courtney Shah
Apr 04, 2013 Courtney Shah rated it it was ok
Published in 1996, it is already incredibly dated. References to AIDS and legalization (focusing on crack and heroin rather than marijuana, which is the real trend in legalization) makes this seem the product of 50 years ago.
AskHistorians
Easy-to-read history of drug use in America, with some scathing critique of the experimental Boomer generation.
Tania
Aug 08, 2007 Tania added it
Shelves: didntfinish
Yes, this book is fascinating, but I am way sick of reading non-fiction. It's sucking my will to live!
Amy
Apr 12, 2008 Amy rated it it was ok
Couldn't get through it. Seemed semi-informative, but definitely not the drug history I'd tell you to read. There was something I didn't like about it, but I can't remember what it was.
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