Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs

By Johann Hari


It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned in the United States. On the eve of this centenary, journalist Johann Hari set off on an epic three-year, thirty-thousand-mile journey into the war on drugs. What he found is that more and more people all over the world have begun to recognize three startling truths: Drugs are not what we think they are. Addiction is not what we think it is. And the drug war has very different motives to the ones we have seen on our TV screens for so long.

In Chasing the Scream, Hari reveals his discoveries entirely through the stories of people across the world whose lives have been transformed by this war. They range from a transsexual crack dealer in Brooklyn searching for her mother, to a teenage hit-man in Mexico searching for a way out. It begins with Hari's discovery that at the birth of the drug war, Billie Holiday was stalked and killed by the man who launched this crusade--and it ends with the story of a brave doctor who has led his country to decriminalize every drug, from cannabis to crack, with remarkable results.

Chasing the Scream lays bare what we really have been chasing in our century of drug war--in our hunger for drugs, and in our attempt to destroy them. This book will challenge and change how you think about one of the most controversial--and consequential--questions of our time.


-A compassionate and humane argument to overturn draconian drug policies.- - Kirkus Reviews

-Hari has made a stimulating hybrid of a book--simultaneously a readable history of the war on drugs and a powerful case for radical reform.- - Publishers Weekly

-Breath-taking . . . A powerful contribution to an urgent debate.- - John Harris, The Guardian

-Check out Johann Hari's extraordinary new book Chasing the Scream, one of the best books I've ever read about the world of drugs.- - Toure, MSNBC

-A riveting book.- - San Francisco Chronicle

-A terrific book.- - Bill Maher

-Wonderful. I couldn't put it down.- - Noam Chomsky

-An absolutely stunning book. It will blow people away.- - Elton John

-This book is as intoxicatingly thrilling as crack, without destroying your teeth. It will change the drug debate forever.- - Russell Brand

-Superb journalism and thrilling story-telling.- - Naomi Klein

-Johann Hari's book is the perfect antidote to the war on drugs, one of the most under-discussed moral injustices of our time. It combines rigorous research and deeply human story-telling. It will prompt an urgently-needed debate.- - Glenn Greenwald

-Amazing and bracing and smart. It's really revolutionary.- - Dan Savage

-An astounding book . . . You have to read it.- - Amy Goodman, host of DEMOCRACY NOW!

-Incredibly insightful and provocative.- - B.J. Novak, writer for THE OFFICE

-Chasing the Scream vividly paints the war on drugs as the century-long bad LSD trip that it is; in doing so it sticks a big nail in its coffin.- - Ioan Grillo, author of EL NARCO

-Johann Hari has written a drug policy reform book like no other. Many have studied, or conducted, the science surrounding the manifold ills of drug prohibition. But Hari puts it all into riveting story form, and humanizes it . . . Chasing the Scream is beautifully wrought: lively, humorous, and poignant. And, it's a compelling case for why the drug war must end, yesterday.- - Norman Stamper, former chief of the Seattle Police

-This book is an entertainment, a great character study, and page-turning story-telling all rolled into one very sophisticated and compelling cry for social justice.- - Stephen Downing, former deputy chief, LAPD

"Wonderful. I couldn't put it down." --Noam Chomsky "An absolutely stunning book. It will blow people away." --Elton John "Perhaps the most influential journalist of his generation." --"The Telegraph"


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ISBN: 9781620408919

About the Paperback

Publisher Bloomsbury USA
Publish date 03/01/2016
Pages 400
ISBN-13 9781620408919
ISBN-10 1620408910
Language English

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