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Book Reviews : The War on Drugs James Inciardi Mayfield Publishing Company, Palo Alto 1986, 231 pages

Book Reviews The War on Drugs James Inciardi Mayfield Publishing Company, Palo Alto 1986, 231 pages SAGE Publications, Inc.1987DOI: 10.1177/104398628700300405 Sue Bessmer Criminal Justice/Interdisciplinary Social Studies San Francisco State University For classroom use, The War on Drugs has much to recommend it. Inciardi employs a fluid style, a light touch and a pungent awareness of the hysteria which too often amuses a young and street wise audience. However, at its core, the book stumbles in unresolved contradiction. Intellectually, Inciardi is committed to sociological empiricism. Politically, he is wedded to the use of law enforcement to "solve" the drug problem. Unhappily, the two make uneasy bedfellows. The book opens with a lively discussion of the history of drug use and legislation in America. It's a woeful tale of the continuing emergence of new substances and the tendency for legislation to create "increased supplies of the very drugs it was trying to eliminate" (p. 42). Unable to cite a single "success" in regulation, Inciardi remains its ardent fan. His second chapter outlines the provenance of heroin and cocaine. Detailing impassible terrains, a myriad of river routes, official cooperation in the drug trade and recurrent murders of enforcement agents, the text http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice SAGE

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