Patrick's Reviews > Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

Methland by Nick Reding
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's review
Dec 07, 2010

it was amazing

I finished this book months ago, and decided to finally write about Methland after I saw that one of my friends (thanks Sara) had put in on her visual bookshelf. It is a great work on the ins and outs of meth, what it does to people and their communities, and describes the human cost to the use of this very dangerous drug.

Reding conducted an enormous amount of research talking to users and law enforcement, doctors and lawyers in order to give a broad picture of what meth has done to a small town in Iowa. However, with great skill he moved the reader along to an analysis of the drug and its consequences through a broad social view, one that links poverty, the shrinking of local economies (the 'Walmart' or should I say the agribusiness effect), as well as national policy decisions to outline some of the things that are truly wrong with the United States.

Reding holds no prisoners. He not only gives an historical and sometimes brutal outline of the rise of meth, but also damns lawmakers out of Washington, who, through the influence of corporate lobbies, turned a blind eye to the problems relating to meth. This book tells harrowing, unbelievable stories of abuse, but also gives a very strong argument against our current corporate culture, who act on the bottom line, regardless of the costs to American society. To use a loaded term, the behaviors of the pharmaceutical and retailer lobbies are egregiously unpatriotic.

Methland also serves as a warning to those who read it. Reding deftly agures the point that although meth is not currently making headlines, that the problems associated with it should not be ignored. The history of the struggles with enforcement bring this to light.

This is a great non-fiction book. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone. It is gripping, sad, and tough and smart.
Four bought and paid for senators out of four.

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