Forty years in, the War on Drugs has done almost nothing to prevent drugs from being sold or used, but it has nonetheless created a little-known surveillance state in America's most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Alice Goffman spent six years living in one such neighborhood in Philadelphia, and her close observations and often harrowing stories reveal the pernicious effects of this pervasive policing. Goffman introduces us to an unforgettable cast of young African American men who are caught up in this web of warrants and surveillance - some of them small-time drug dealers, others just ordinary guys dealing with limited choices. All find the web of presumed criminality, built as it is on the very associations and friendships that make up a life, nearly impossible to escape. While Goffman does not deny the problems of the drug trade, and the violence that often accompanies it, through her gripping accounts of daily life in the forgotten neighborhoods of America's cities, she makes it impossible for us to ignore the very real human costs of our failed response - the blighting of entire neighborhoods, and the needless sacrifice of whole generations.
|Publication date:||17th April 2015|
|Publisher:||University of Chicago Press an imprint of The University of Chicago Press|
|Categories:||Drugs trade / drug trafficking, Urban communities,|
Alice Goffman is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Madison.More About Alice Goffman