a great holistic view of one of the most truly american drugs. reding's greatest feat here is to fully understand, and relate to the reader, the constellation of american (and global) symptoms that resulted in the meth explosion. as he points out in the book, america is not a sociological nation, we are a psychological nation. we tend to blame the individual, and poor decisions, without stepping far enough back from the problem to see the machinations that lead to the opportunity for addiction.
not just a dark glimpse into the lives of addicts and dealers, reding spends just as much time explaining the history of meth in america, and gives us views into how big pharma, mexican cartels, globalization, the demise of the american farm, etc., all played into this problem.