Smack Heroin and the American City Eric C. Schneider Winner of the Kenneth Jackson Best Book Award for 2008 from the Urban History Association "A sympathetic, engaging, and highly readable antidote to the war-ondrugs-style morality tale. At times the book reads like the award-winning and controversial HBO television series The Wire...Schneider draws his audience into a colorful narrative complete with larger-than-life characters, heart-tugging tragedies, and triumphant victories that complicate a more simplistic rendering of what constitutes right and wrong, legal and illegal, or mainstream and black market. He effectively humanizes the issue with testimony from users, dealers, traffickers, police, politicians, and educators to show how all parties in this conflict have struggled to bring justice and security to their communities."--American Historical Review "Schneider has produced that rarest of academic commodities--a page-turner. The book is exceedingly well written, and its fascinating research and analysis are sure to make it a central text in the field."
--Journal of American History "Deeply researched and briskly written, with rare photographs and biographical vignettes to keep the narrative moving along, Smack ...is a triumph of imaginative historical scholarship, though a bittersweet one, written by someone in obvious mourning for the drug-accelerated decline of America's great cities."--Addiction "Schneider's absorbing history of heroin's proliferation in America draws a parallel between the evolution and decline of American cities and the rise of heroin use. Rather than treating the city as a "backdrop," Schneider interprets cities as 'the organizers of the world opium market,' and meticulously traces heroin's ascendancy from early 20th century opium dens to the 1920s jazz milieu and into the suburbs of the late 20th century when heroin finally attracted the attention of the mainstream media."--Publisher's Weekly "Since the end of World War II, American cities have been home to illicit drug markets where heroin has been among the most widely-sold products.
Smack is Eric Schneider's masterful explanation of how heroin entered America's cities, who used it, what happened as a result and how obtuse public policy and naked corruption not only failed to check its distribution but sometimes even contributed to its spread. Schneider exposes the deep misconceptions underlying the nation's futile war on drugs and offers sane and realistic alternatives that, historic experience suggests, could work, if only public authorities have the courage and will."--Michael Katz, The Price of Citizenship: Redefining the American Welfare State Eric C. Schneider is Adjunct Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Vampires, Dragons, and Egyptian Kings: Youth Gangs in Postwar New York. Politics and Culture in Modern America 2008 | 280 pages | 6 x 9 | 14 illus. ISBN 978-0-8122-4116-7 | Cloth | $49.95s | GBP32.50 ISBN 978-0-8122-2180-0 | Paper | $24.95s | GBP16.50 ISBN 978-0-8122-0348-6 | Ebook | $24.95s | GBP16.50 World Rights | American History Short copy: Why do the vast majority of heroin users live in cities?
In his provocative history of heroin in the United States, Eric Schneider explains what is distinctively urban about this undisputed king of underworld drugs.
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press