In Reefer Madness, the author of the New York Times bestsellers Command and Control and Fast Food Nation, investigates America’s
black market and its far-reaching influence on our society through three of its
mainstays—pot, porn, and illegal immigrants.
underground economy is vast; it comprises perhaps ten percent—or more—of
America’s overall economy, and it’s on the rise. Eric Schlosser charts this
growth and finds its roots in the nexus of ingenuity, greed, idealism, and
hypocrisy that is American culture. He reveals the fascinating workings of the
shadow economy by focusing on marijuana, one of the nation’s largest cash
crops; pornography, whose greatest beneficiaries include Fortune 100 companies;
and illegal migrant workers, whose lot often resembles that of medieval serfs.
industries show how the black market has burgeoned over the past three decades,
as America’s reckless faith in the free market has combined with a deep-seated
puritanism to create situations both preposterous and tragic. Schlosser traces
compelling parallels between underground and over ground: how tycoons and
gangsters rise and fall, how new technology shapes a market, how government
intervention can reinvigorate black markets as well as mainstream ones, how big
business learns from—and profits from—the underground.
intrepid reportage, rich history, and incisive argument, Schlosser illuminates
the shadow economy and the culture that casts that shadow. Download and start listening now!