Alexandra Chasin's Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. PDF

By Alexandra Chasin

Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics from its institution in 1930 till his retirement in 1962, Harry J. Anslinger is the USA’ little identified first drug czar. Anslinger was once a profligate propagandist with an inherent ability for demonizing racial and immigrant teams and maybe top identified for his zealous pursuit of harsh drug consequences and his specific animus for marijuana clients. yet what made Anslinger who he used to be, and what cultural traits did he magnify and institutionalize? Having simply handed the hundredth anniversary of the Harrison Act—which consolidated prohibitionist drug coverage and resulted in the carceral kingdom we've today—and at the same time public doubts concerning the drug battle keep growing, now's the fitting time to judge Anslinger’s social, cultural, and political legacy.

In Assassin of Youth, Alexandra Chasin offers us a lyrical, digressive, humorous, and eventually riveting quasi-biography of Anslinger. Her therapy of the fellow, his instances, and the area that arose round and during him is a component cultural background, half kaleidoscopic meditation. all of the brief chapters is anchored in a ancient document—the courtroom determination in Webb v. US (1925), a 1935 map of East Harlem, FBN education fabrics from the Nineteen Fifties, a private letter from the Treasury division in 1985—each of which opens onto Anslinger and his context. From the Pharmacopeia of 1820 to demise of Sandra Bland in 2015, from the Pennsylvania Railroad to the final passenger pigeon, and with forays into gangster lives, CIA operatives, and renowned detective tales, Chasin covers extraordinary ground. Assassin of Youth is as riotous and unfastened a historical past of drug legislation as could be imagined—and but it culminates in an arresting and distinct revision of the emergence of drug prohibition.

Today, whilst marijuana is slowly being legalized, we nonetheless haven't absolutely reckoned with the racist and xenophobic foundations of our cultural urge for food for the serious punishment of drug offenders. In Assassin of Youth, Chasin exhibits us the deep, twisted roots of either our love and our hatred for drug prohibition.

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Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger’s War on Drugs by Alexandra Chasin

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