Cocaína: A Book on Those Who Make It

Magnus Linton, trans. from the Swedish by John Eason. Soft Skull (PGW, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-61902-293-5
A web of chilling stories emerge from Swedish writer Linton’s panorama of recent Colombian history and its inextricable entanglements with the titular drug, as well as myriad associated wars. In spare, sharp prose, Linton (Americanos) weaves his narrative threads into keen political and historical analysis—investigative journalism at its finest. The book is not only about those who make cocaine, but those who have “made it” and survived the interminable conflicts created by drug politics. Linton skillfully and compassionately illustrates the battle for a nation’s soul. Much of the book orbits the story of Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug lord who once controlled as much as 80% of the world’s supply; the rise and fall of his drug empire makes for a darkly engrossing tale, but Linton never falls into the trap of making this a story about sensational individuals, instead keeping his eye fixed on social structure and culture. His analysis of American and European complicity in Colombia’s misery, the corruption of the Colombian government and the military’s terroristic collusions, racial politics, and the painful psychosocial impact of a 40-year war on drugs (creating what he calls a “carousel of war”) set this book well apart. Agent: Rita G. Karlsson, Kontext Agency. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/24/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-922247-14-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-3898-0
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