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Download The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate's Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicates Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History, by James Higdon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Higdon Narrator: J. Paul Boehme Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The true story of the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, a band of Kentucky farmers descended from Prohibition-era moonshiners versus the war on drugs

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Author James Higdon—whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration—takes listeners back to the 1970s and 80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heartbreaking altruism.

Accompanied by a backdrop of rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, this work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful, and riveting detail.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] lucidly spun tale…Think Tarantino on Kentucky bluegrass, scored with Creedence and vigorously reported.”


  • “The history of the region, the details of the crimes and way of life, make for a strangely compelling book and an insight from another angle into our own recent past and present.”

    Daniel Woodrell, author of Winter’s Bone

  • “A tale that is so rich and utterly startling that it’s honestly hard to believe in parts. But Higdon’s research is smart, and his writing is smooth. He’s especially good on the history of this American saga, which may have fallen through the cracks of time without his hard work.”

    Ann Hagedorn, author of Wild Ride

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About the Author

James Higdon has worked for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, the New York Times, PBS Frontline‘s Tehran Bureau; contributed material to The Prairie Home Companion; and researched the NYPD for the police drama series NYC-22. His reporting relationship with Johnny Boone landed him in the crosshairs of a federal manhunt, making him the first journalist subpoenaed by the Obama administration.