Sam Quinones

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Sam Quinones is a long-time journalist and author of 3 books of narrative nonfiction.

He worked for the LA Times for 10 years. He spent 10 years before that as a freelance journalist in Mexico.

His first book is True Tales from Another Mexico: The Lynch Mob, the Popsicle Kings, Chalino and the Bronx, published in 2001, a collection of nonfiction stories about drag queens, popsicle-makers, Oaxacan basketball players, telenovela stars, gunmen, migrants, and slain narco-balladeer, Chalino Sanchez.

In 2007, he published Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration. In this volume he tells stories of the Henry Ford of velvet painting, opera singers in Tijuana, the Tomato King of Jerez, Zacatecas, the stories of a young constru
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Sam Quinones Several are still in prison, which is where I found them. A few I've followed up with. The ones I contacted are back doing the menial dead-end jobs…more Several are still in prison, which is where I found them. A few I've followed up with. The ones I contacted are back doing the menial dead-end jobs they did before they got into heroin, which are, for many, the only jobs available to them. So drugs meant in the end no real improvement in their lives, particularly as they spent their money frequently on parties and things that didn't do much to move them forward. Enrique, though, I have no spoken to since his release from prison.

Two of them that I spoke to did have qualms. They come from a small Mexican town, after all, where drugs are frowned on. But money does override a lot of troublesome moral questions. Enrique had many rationalizations for it - someone else would have sold this had it not been me, that sort of thing. One guy is very happy to be out of it, though he's back working jobs that lead nowhere. All his friends, brothers and in-laws are involved in heroin work, but he's happy to be away from it. (less)
Sam Quinones Sounds trite, but you have to write. It helps enormously to find a job that pays you to write - which is why journalism is so important. Like poetry,…moreSounds trite, but you have to write. It helps enormously to find a job that pays you to write - which is why journalism is so important. Like poetry, journalism also forces you, or should, to pay close attention to how you use words and express ideas. Also, don't think of any first draft you write - to a novel or an email - as done. Writing is rewriting - always.(less)
Average rating: 4.25 · 12,967 ratings · 1,931 reviews · 11 distinct worksSimilar authors
Dreamland: The True Tale of...

4.25 avg rating — 12,674 ratings — published 2015 — 7 editions
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True Tales from Another Mex...

4.11 avg rating — 156 ratings4 editions
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Antonio's Gun and Delfino's...

3.86 avg rating — 124 ratings — published 2007 — 5 editions
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Tell Your True Tale: East L...

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Dreamland (YA Edition): The...

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Tell Your True Tale: Vol. 9

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More books by Sam Quinones…

I read two things yesterday.


I opened the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on six Catholic dioceses and the evidence of sexual abuse by more than 300 priests dating apparently to the 1950s.


I got through the introduction and the first two priests in the diocese of Allentown.


It wasn’t just the preying pedophilia. It was the craven blaming of victims, the various layers of psychological torment they...

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Ghettoside: A Tru...
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The Sense of Styl...
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Sam Quinones wrote a new blog post
I read two things yesterday.
I opened the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report on six Catholic dioceses and the evidence of sexual abuse by more than 300... Read more of this blog post »
4862
Sam Quinones rated a book it was amazing
The Reckoning by David Halberstam
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The other day I was speaking to a local politician near Los Angeles who said that he once went to Detroit to meet with the then-president of GM, Roger Smith.

He and another councilman were trying to get Smith to sell/exchange land that GM owned in th
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Truman by David McCullough
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I feel we have been lucky as a country to have great personalities as president at certain momentous times.

Systems are hugely important, but it’s good to not forget that personalities run these systems – well or poorly, depending often on the person
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Sam Quinones rated a book it was amazing
John Adams by David McCullough
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here's my review: http://samquinones.com/reporters-blog/

John Adams was a simple man. He loved the same woman all his life. He never owned a slave. In his youth, even as an ardent revolutionary, he defended British soldiers in a trial because he belie
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Brave Companions by David McCullough
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Building the 47-mile Panama Railroad (the world's first intercontinental railroad) cost the lives of probably 6000 men, who succumbed to malaria, or depression from the utter hell it was to build something of that sort through a jungle without survey ...more
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The Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould
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My Brain is Open by Bruce Schechter
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In Hungary, in the decades after 1900 and before World War II, existed an intense "math scene" in which young people, Jews mostly, spent long hours of excited energy arguing and devising proofs for mathematical problems.

They would meet at the city pa
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More of Sam's books…
“The front of the brain has to develop through mistakes. But the first reaction of the addicted person is to head back to the family: ‘Will you rescue me?’ Whatever the person’s rescued from, there’s no learning. There’s no experiences, no frontal brain development. They’re doing well and then some idea comes into their head and they’re off a cliff. It may not be a decision to use. Most relapse comes not from the craving for the drug. It comes from this whole other level of unmanageability, putting myself in compromising situations, or being dishonest, being lazy—being a fifteen-year-old.”
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

“2008:  Drug overdoses, mostly from opiates, surpass auto fatalities as leading cause of accidental death in the United States.”
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

“Through all this, patients were getting used to demanding drugs for treatment. They did not, however, have to accept the idea that they might, say, eat better and exercise more, and that this might help them lose weight and feel better. Doctors, of course, couldn’t insist. As the defenestration of the physician’s authority and clinical experience was under way, patients didn’t have to take accountability for their own behavior.”
Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic

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