Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs and Cheap Labor in the Black Market

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Eric Schlosser

Narrated By: Eric Schlosser

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: May 2003

Duration: 9 hours 24 minutes

Summary:

In Reefer Madness, the best-selling author of 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.

The underground economy is vast; it comprises perhaps 10 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.

All three 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 overground: 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 -- and profits -- from the underground.

With intrepid reportage, rich history, and incisive argument, Schlosser illuminates the shadow economy and the culture that casts that shadow.

Genres:

  • Gavin Pate

    This is a good book about the underground of America.

  • Anonymous

    After Fast Food Nation, I immediately listened to Reefer Madness. Eric Schlosser is an excellent journalist, and I'm looking forward to his next (audio)book. However, I hope he leaves the reading to someone else: he may be a great writer, but he's a boring narrator.

  • Anonymous

    I found portions of this book quite interesting; however, much of it was aimed at convincing listeners to see how drug enforcement is crippling our legal system, and to the plight of migrant workers. I was already a convert to both ideas, so I just couldn't be bothered listening to it all. The information contained though is fascinating.