Reckoning: Drugs, the Cities, and the American Future

Elliott Currie, Author Hill & Wang $25 (405p) ISBN 978-0-8090-8049-6
Full of wisdom vital to our country's leaders, this powerful book argues that drug abuse is an endemic social problem that can be solved only by a program of social reconstruction that will deliver jobs, education and health care--not by either legalization of drugs or punishment of abusers. Criticizing those who describe the drug problem as classless, sociologist Currie ( Confronting Crime ) synthesizes research in the U.S. and in Europe to argue persuasively that drug abuse is linked to ``conditions of mass social deprivation, economic marginality, and cultural and community breakdown.'' Citing long-term declines in economic opportunity and the collapse of the community infrastructure in inner cities, Currie advocates reduced penalties for most drug offenses, harsher sentences for dealers, more help for addicts in prison and an emphasis on community policing. With a skeptical look at treatment programs, he convincingly suggests recovery depends more on ``the realistic possibilities for an alternative way of life.'' (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1993
Release date: 01/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 405 pages - 978-0-8090-1571-9
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