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

Methland by Nick Reding
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's review
Jul 09, 2012

liked it

So much for small town, heartland values! Nick Reding's books exposes the negative impact of the transformation of small Midwestern towns from prosperous communities with factories and small farms to a world of Agribusiness and foreign labour; the towns become wastelands with no opportunity. I have spent much of the summer learning about substance abuse (for work!) and meth is just about the nastiest and most self-destructive drug of them all. Reding concentrates on the small town of Oelwein, Iowa, focusing on specific individuals including a prosecutor, mayor, police and a couple of drug addicts. I like this focus a lot. He only touches on the permanent impact on the brain at the very end of the book - I'd have liked more of that but I acknowledge that this isn't the story that he was telling. Particularly frightening is the unintended consequences of policies to try and curb the use of meth (primarily the limiting of pre-meth sudafed etc) - Mexican drug cartels now are an integral part of the meth trade in the Midwest. A three and a half star review.

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