Reefer Madness

  • by Eric Schlosser
  • Narrated by Eric Schlosser
  • 9 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Reefer Madness, the best-selling author of Fast Food Nation investigates America's black market and its far-reaching influence on our society through three of its mainstays - pot, porn, and illegal immigrants.The underground economy is vast; it comprises perhaps 10 percent - perhaps more - of America's overall economy, and it's on the rise. Eric Schlosser charts this growth, and finds its roots in the nexus of ingenuity, greed, idealism, and hypocrisy that is American culture. He reveals the fascinating workings of the shadow economy by focusing on marijuana, one of the nation's largest cash crops; pornography, whose greatest beneficiaries include Fortune 100 companies; and illegal migrant workers, whose lot often resembles that of medieval serfs.All three industries show how the black market has burgeoned over the past three decades, as America's reckless faith in the free market has combined with a deep-seated Puritanism to create situations both preposterous and tragic. Through pot, porn, and migrants, Schlosser traces compelling parallels between underground and overground: how tycoons and gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, how big business learns - and profits - from the underground.With intrepid reportage, rich history, and incisive argument, Schlosser illuminates the shadow economy and the culture that casts that shadow.

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What the Critics Say

"Like Fast Food Nation, this is an eye-opening book, offering the same high level of reporting and research." (Publishers Weekly)
"Schlosser's precise outrage is as compelling off as on the page." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great Investigative Journalism

Nearly all of us eat fast food, but it took Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation for us to learn what it means in American Society. Reefer Madness is similar, looking at ways in which our society has gotten far off track. I thought the black market was a problem for post-Soviet Russia. Through insightful investigative journalism, Schlosser shows the problem exists -- and thrives -- right here at home. His essays exposing the vast reach of the underground economy read like novels, with engaging characters, as he exposes some basic, ugly truths at the core of our society that have not received the attention they deserve. Schlosser holds a mirror that helps us see our culture more clearly, warts and all.
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- Boulderite

and so...

this book was very informative, but it was sadly fatalistic in tone. while I am now well informed as to the workings of the black market, I feel as though Schlosser, although not endorsing pornography, at least views it as an inevitability against which we have no weapons. drugs and migrant workers are two other complex and socially distructive problems which are dealt with, but again, with no solid conclusions reached. as I have already stated, I am now well informed, but a little more hopeless.
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- Victoria

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2003
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio