TO DIE IN MEXICO

DISPATCHES FROM INSIDE THE DRUG WAR

An American journalist delves into the grim, relentless drug war between Mexico and the United States and advocates for legalization as the only answer to stop the violence.

An intrepid California-based journalist who risked his life to pursue the interviews he records with Mexican officials and victims here, Gibler (Mexico Unconquered) recounts an endless litany of violence that has exploded during the tenures of Carlos Salinas, Ernesto Zedillo, Vicente Fox and, especially, Felipe Calderon. The various drug cartels—the Gulf cartel, the Zetas, the Sinaloa Cartel, among others—have only grown stronger over the years (the Sinaloa Cartel has been responsible for 84 percent of the recent drug murders). From the time a substance moves in its rawest form—100 kilograms of coca leaves reaps $1,000 for the Colombian farmer—to its arrival on the streets of America (a kilo of cocaine is worth $100,000), its value has increased by more than 3,000 percent. Hence, drugs are big business, especially for the banks, who launder the spectacular profits. The corruption of organized crime has infiltrated every segment of Mexican society, as Gibler demonstrates here, visiting prisons and civic groups, who express an utter sense of hopelessness and despair. However, the author has found fighting spirits, such as young murdered men’s mothers who show up bravely and demand a police reckoning; and the journalists mourning their murdered fellow colleagues at El Diario de Juarez. Gibler argues passionately to undercut this “case study in failure.” The drug barons are only getting richer, the murders mount and the police and military repression expand as “illegality increases the value of the commodity.” With legality, both U.S. and Mexican society could address real issues of substance abuse through education and public-health initiatives. A visceral, immediate and reasonable argument.

 

Pub Date: June 15, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-87286-517-4

Page Count: 200

Publisher: City Lights

Review Posted Online: April 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

WHY WE'RE POLARIZED

A sharp explanation of how American politics has become so discordant.

Journalist Klein, co-founder of Vox, formerly of the Washington Post, MSNBC, and Bloomberg, reminds readers that political commentators in the 1950s and ’60s denounced Republicans and Democrats as “tweedledum and tweedledee.” With liberals and conservatives in both parties, they complained, voters lacked a true choice. The author suspects that race played a role, and he capably shows us why and how. For a century after the Civil War, former Confederate states, obsessed with keeping blacks powerless, elected a congressional bloc that “kept the Democratic party less liberal than it otherwise would’ve been, the Republican Party congressionally weaker than it otherwise would’ve been, and stopped the parties from sorting themselves around the deepest political cleavage of the age.” Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many white Southern Democrats became Republicans, and the parties turned consistently liberal and conservative. Given a “true choice,” Klein maintains, voters discarded ideology in favor of “identity politics.” Americans, like all humans, cherish their “tribe” and distrust outsiders. Identity was once a preoccupation of minorities, but it has recently attracted white activists and poisoned the national discourse. The author deplores the decline of mass media (network TV, daily newspapers), which could not offend a large audience, and the rise of niche media and internet sites, which tell a small audience only what they want to hear. American observers often joke about European nations that have many parties who vote in lock step. In fact, such parties cooperate to pass legislation. America is the sole system with only two parties, both of which are convinced that the other is not only incompetent (a traditional accusation), but a danger to the nation. So far, calls for drastic action to prevent the apocalypse are confined to social media, fringe activists, and the rhetoric of Trump supporters. Fortunately—according to Klein—Trump is lazy, but future presidents may be more savvy. The author does not conclude this deeply insightful, if dispiriting, analysis by proposing a solution.

A clear, useful guide through the current chaotic political landscape.

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0032-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Avid Reader Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more