Johann Hari - Chasing the Scream (24)

The subtitle is “The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs”. It’s an eye-opening book. I hadn’t seen the TED talk or heard of the author’s past issues with journalistic integrity but am relieved to see that the original interviews that seed the book are all online and that critics focus more on his conclusions and analysis than the basic facts. Because it was the scenarios and real-world examples that interested me most.

First, the opening section about the history of the drug war in the USA were fascinating. The story about Billie Holiday was so tragic and infuriating that I stopped the book to buy one about her for later reading. 

If you are interested in institutional racism and the characters who buried it in the foundations of  some USA institutions, this is an important read. Ditto for addiction, drugs, crime and the justice system, and anyone studying how policy ideas spread from one country to the world. 

What’s Next? 

Back to fiction. I can’t stop thinking about One Night in Winter, so something in that vein.