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On the Run Fugitive Life in an American City

by Alice Goffman

Part of the Fieldwork Encounters and Discoveries Series

On the Run Fugitive Life in an American City Synopsis

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.

On the Run Fugitive Life in an American City Press Reviews

This is a truly wonderful book that identifies the casualties of the war on drugs that extend beyond the prison walls.... The detail is incredible. The research is impeccable. Read it and weep. (Times Higher Education) Extraordinary.... The best work of ethnography I have read in a very, very long time. (LSE Review of Books) An exceptional book.... Devastating. (Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker) A remarkable feat of reporting. (Alex Kotlowitz, New York Times Book Review)

Book Information

ISBN: 9780226275406
Publication date: 17th April 2015
Author: Alice Goffman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press an imprint of The University of Chicago Press
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 288 pages
Categories: Drugs trade / drug trafficking, Urban communities,

About Alice Goffman

Alice Goffman is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Madison.

More About Alice Goffman

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