The War on Drugs in the Americas  book cover
1st Edition

The War on Drugs in the Americas

ISBN 9781138952096
Published September 12, 2019 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

The War on Drugs in the Americas brings together the history of the War on Drugs in the US and Latin America to reveal how, since 1914, when the US first criminalized the non-medical use of narcotics, the trade and violence associated with drugs has developed throughout the hemisphere.

This concise and accessible book provides an overview of the geographic, historical, economic, and social dimensions of the War on Drugs throughout the past century. Notable figures, popular drugs, competing theories, and significant historical events take center stage, as the story moves between macro analysis and micro details. Aside from infamous cartel leaders like Colombia’s Pablo Escobar and Mexico’s El Chapo Guzman, the reader learns about equally important but lesser-known Latin American and US traffickers. In addition to counter-narcotics giants, readers learn about Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), DEA agents working to fight pharmaceutical companies and distributors, cutting-edge researchers and politicians that have pushed for and against the war.

The War on Drugs in the Americas is essential reading for students studying Latin American History, International Studies, and Politics through its clear and objective narrative of the origins, impact, and debates behind the War on Drugs in the US and Latin America.

Table of Contents



Part 1: The War on Drugs before 1981

Chapter 1: The US before 1981

Chapter 2: The Caribbean Basin before 1981

Chapter 3: South America before 1981

Part 2: The War on Drugs, 1981–95

Chapter 4: The US, 1981–95

Chapter 5: The Caribbean Basin, 1981–95

Chapter 6: South America, 1981–95

Part 3: The War on Drugs, 1995–Present

Chapter 7: The US, 1995–Present

Chapter 8: The Caribbean Basin, 1995–Present

Chapter 9: South America, 1995–Present

Chapter 10: Debating the Way Forward


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Christopher M. White is a Latin American History Professor at Marshall University in Huntington, WV. As a professor working in the state with the highest overdose rates in the country, his research is rooted in an evidence-driven approach toward explaining the War on Drugs.