When Crack Was King: A People's History of a Misunderstood Era

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Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
One World
Publish Date
6.2 X 9.3 X 1.6 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author
Donovan X. Ramsey is a journalist, author, and voice on issues of race, politics, and patterns of power in America. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, GQ, WSJ, Ebony, and Essence. He has been a staff reporter at the Los Angeles Times, NewsOne, and theGrio and has served as an editor at The Marshall Project and Complex. Ramsey holds a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Morehouse College.
"The crack epidemic may be over, Ramsey notes at book's end, but drug fads and epidemics come and go, and our government and media apparatus must learn to respond to them better."--NPR

"Drawing on intensive research and the stories of four individuals whose lives were indelibly shaped by the drug and its criminalization, Ramsey provides much-needed critique on not only drug policy past and present, but also the system that it upholds, urgently interrogating who it protects, who it punishes--and why."--Time (10 new books you should read in July)

"[A] panoramic social history of the rise and fall of the epidemic . . . Ramsey aims to give the story of the crack epidemic a human face while telling it from start to finish, a herculean task. By and large he succeeds."--The New York Times

"[Ramsey] looks at the crack epidemic of the '80s and '90s from several perspectives, from a Newark drug kingpin to a former Baltimore mayor to a longtime addict, and asks the reader to reconsider the details of a life-shattering scourge."--Boston Globe (best new books for summer 2023)

"[When Crack Was King] manages to convey the scope of history while also remaining grounded in the specific and personal. And it feels particularly relevant as America stares down another drug epidemic with no clear end in sight."--Los Angeles Times

"Beautifully composed and carefully researched, When Crack Was King is a thoroughgoing survey of the crack epidemic. Since I lived through it, I thought I knew about this period--until I read this clear-eyed book."--Ibram X. Kendi, author of the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Be an Antiracist

"Forget what you think you know about the crack era, because this definitive account resets the record. Both unflinching and compassionate, it has the power to expand your heart. It's a stunning and unforgettable debut."--Heather McGhee, author of New York Times bestseller The Sum of Us

"Donovan X. Ramsey tells the story of the crack era--its causes, victims, and survivors--with insight and compassion. If you're anything like me, you won't soon forget the characters on these pages."--James Forman Jr., Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Locking Up Our Own

"Passionate, important reportage on a tragic era in American history from an author who lived through it."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review