Methland by Nick Reding
For a sociological book on meth that examines drug use and abuse in one American small town over the course of several years, check out
Methland by Nick Reding
Published in 2009, Reding is a journalist who invested four years of his life in reporting on the meth issue in the small town of Oelwein, IA, which could be any number of small towns in the United States. Once a booming agricultural and railroad town, as employment opportunities vanished over the years, drug problems accumulated and this is the story of what happened in this one town. Reding is from Oelwein so has an investment in this story, which comes through in his writing. There are a lot of personal stories in the book of town characters that draw the reader in, such as that of the town doctor, a chain-smoking alcoholic himself, who desperately wants to see the town recover. There is the young town prosecutor, who is trying to clean things up and the stories of several of the addicts.
"The argument I make in the book is very simple: The harder it is for people to make money honestly, the easier it will be for an increasingly large portion to chose to make it dishonestly." - Methland, Nick Reding
This is a very good an fascinating book if you are interested in the bigger picture of what drugs, particularly meth, can do to a small town and even the economic impact that it has. Some critics of the book think that Reding tried to do too much with in and tie in what was happening in Oelwein with the national and even global economy. I think this is a fair criticism but that it's still a good read if you can get past that and the few facts that seem to be a bit off-base as well. Check it out here:
Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town
Author: Nick Reding
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The bestselling book that launched meth back into the nation's consciousness. Based on Reding's four years of reporting in the agricultural town of Oelwein, Iowa, and tracing the connections to the global forces that set the stage for the meth epidemic, Methland offers a vital perspective on a contemporary tragedy. It is a portrait of a community under siege, of the lives that meth has devastated, and of the heroes who continue to fight the war.
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