When Crack Was King

A People's History of a Misunderstood Era

    • 4.3 • 19 Ratings
    • $13.99
    • $13.99

Publisher Description

LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD • A “vivid and frank” (NPR) account of the crack cocaine era and a community’s ultimate resilience, told through a cast of characters whose lives illuminate the dramatic rise and fall of the epidemic
 
“A master class in disrupting a stubborn narrative, a monumental feat for the fraught subject of addiction in Black communities.”—The Washington Post

“A poignant and compelling re-examination of a tragic era in America history . . . insightful . . . and deeply moving.”—Bryan Stevenson, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy

FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD • ONE OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY AND VULTURE’S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, NPR, Chicago Public Library, Publishers Weekly, She Reads, Electric Lit, The Mary Sue


The crack epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s is arguably the least examined crisis in American history. Beginning with the myths inspired by Reagan’s war on drugs, journalist Donovan X. Ramsey’s exacting analysis traces the path from the last triumphs of the Civil Rights Movement to the devastating realities we live with today: a racist criminal justice system, continued mass incarceration and gentrification, and increased police brutality.
 
When Crack Was King follows four individuals to give us a startling portrait of crack’s destruction and devastating legacy: Elgin Swift, an archetype of American industry and ambition and the son of a crack-addicted father who turned their home into a “crack house”; Lennie Woodley, a former crack addict and sex worker; Kurt Schmoke, the longtime mayor of Baltimore and an early advocate of decriminalization; and Shawn McCray, community activist, basketball prodigy, and a founding member of the Zoo Crew, Newark’s most legendary group of drug traffickers.
 
Weaving together riveting research with the voices of survivors, When Crack Was King is a crucial reevaluation of the era and a powerful argument for providing historically violated communities with the resources they deserve.

GENRE
History
RELEASED
2023
July 11
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
448
Pages
PUBLISHER
Random House Publishing Group
SELLER
Penguin Random House LLC
SIZE
3.1
MB

Customer Reviews

NaDaysha4 ,

Blast into the Past

Loved how honest this book was! Coming from someone who’s heard about the era but was never a witness of it made me appreciate how much passion was in the words.

Thank you!

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