He does an excellent job describing the history of methamphetamine, its effects of the body and what are the major contributors to its widespread use. I've heard the law enforcement side and had many one on one conversations with users, dealers and cooks, but I still learned a lot of new information in this book. Certainly knocks down the whole "small town innocence" myth. That would have made it more helpful for future researchers. At the same time, the embattled Lein and Hallberg manage to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps just as they’re about to plunge over sheer emotional cliffs. It takes many, many villains to create a disaster on the scale of the world-wide epidemic caused by meth. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, See all details for Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. [return]Methland is an investigation into what meth is doing to rural America, who the culprits are, and who the heroes are. Mr. Reding didn't set his eyes only on Oelwein but any rural communities who have been left behind because of globalization and harmful federal government inactions. He subsequently zooms in, down into the communties and the lives of those affected by the social, political and economic trends that led formerly self sufficient communites and individuals to become hobbled and susceptible to a scourge both internal and external. Those employed work have lower-paying jobs and work hideously long hours, which makes meth look in the short run like manna. The ravages of meth, or “crank,” on Oelwein and countless forsaken locales much like it are shown to be merely superficial symptoms of a vaster social dementia caused by, among other things, the iron dominion of corporate agriculture and the slow melting of villages and families into the worldwide financial stew. Reding also relates the history of methamphetamine use -- it was given to soldiers during WWII to keep them going for days without sleep or food and prescribed to housewives during the 50s to keep them energetically caring for homes and children. Oddly, like Lein, he’s an amateur philosopher, given to quoting Kant and reading Chomsky and trying to fit his hometown’s woes — ghoulish orgies of domestic violence, toxic explosions of backyard crank labs, psychotic episodes at Do Drop Inn — into overarching historical patterns. The book is extremely well written and will keep your attention the whole way through. I don’t imagine there’s anyone out there who will choose this book, hoping for a happy ending. Every time that I had a question about something mentioned in passing, it was satisfactorily answered within a few pages. I would recommend Tweak to high school juniors and seniors (it is sexually explicit, so it would depend upon your community). But Reding also does two things with this story of an addictive drug in a small town which is 1.) This noteworthy book was certainly an eye-opener for me. He lives with his wife and son in Saint Louis. Nick Redding balances the specifics of this one small town against the broader forces engaged in the epidemic: the global economy, American agriculture, immigration issues, DEA efforts, the pharmaceutical industry, cultural values, and government (in)action. Manning another fortress against the siege is Dr. Clay Hallberg, Oelwein’s leading physician and a chain-smoking, trembling alcoholic who likes to swill cheap canned beer in his garage. Well, this book changed all of that. Those are just the quick ones. I was expecting this to be an overview of the meth epidemic in America's small towns. And there, on a street in a district of drab houses not far from the faltering central business district, is a passel of latter-day Tom Sawyers on bikes, riding along not for the summertime heck of it but to shake up batches of low-grade speed contained in plastic soda jugs lashed to their back fenders. The book was published about the time "Breaking Bad" debuted. Methland details the sociocultural disease at the heart of America, whether in the Rust Belt or the Grain Belt, as personified by a drug that is a dark reflection of America's own values. Reding, a loyal native of the Midwest who’s frankly sentimental about its past and starkly lucid about its likely future, invites his rushing readers to gaze down at the “flyover country” of America and see not a grid of farms and county roads but a patchwork of failed institutions and aspirations. Too many scenes of sulfurous agony might chase away the most calloused, ambitious reader, so Reding recounts these nightmares sparingly, surrounding them with stretches of patient journalism tracing the convergence of social vectors that made the meth plague nearly inevitable and its eradication well-nigh impossible. Methland is good for 11th grade and up. How can we put faith in his research if he misses such easy facts? The book, wrought from old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting of a type that’s disappearing faster than nonfranchised lunch counters on Main Street, isn’t chiefly a tale of drugs and crime, of dysfunction and despair, but a recession-era tragedy scaled for an “Our Town,” Thornton Wilder stage and seemingly based on a script by William S. Burroughs. Methland is his second book. It was not egg white; it was the viscous state of his skin now that the water had boiled out of it. My guess is that this is so because it is cheap and people are bored. Oh, by the way, this is a non-fiction work. The author gives very vivid, chilling descriptions of how the drug attacks the body, mind and community. That's the train wreck portion we as humans can't turn away from- like when Jarvis is literally on fire. And drug addiction is horrible, drug cartels are evil and dangerous, and poverty tends to breed despair and thus drug use. This was a very interesting read regarding the big picture of how meth came into being, how it transformed from a legal drug to an illegal drug, the big business of how it is mass produced, and the drug cartels who handle it's distribution. It's also about the meth epidemic in small towns throughout the U.S. Meth is most prevalent in rural areas, where poor people cook up small batches in their kitchens. What a tragedy. 917 reviews The dramatic story of the methamphetamine epidemic as it sweeps the American heartland a timely, moving, very human account of one community s attempt to battle its way to a brighter future. Yes, Iowa's small farm towns possessed all that is right and great with America--hard work, simple but worthwhile lives, and a golden goodness. Reviewed in the United States on April 5, 2013. "Methland" is about the methamphetamine attack on rural America. For the human side, Reding spends time with both community leaders--the doctor, the prosecutor, and a visionary mayor--and those who have profited from it. He also describes how the drug makes you feel good by flooding your brain with neurotransmitters, and in the long term actually rewires your brain so that the drug is the only thing that makes you feel good.
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