Cocaine has started wars, prompted invasions, embarrassed politicians, toppled governments, filled prisons, created billionaires, fuelled parties, bankrupted countries and taken thousands of lives. All because of a small, unremarkable-looking shrub.
Dominic Streatfeild's highly-praised and comprehensive study examines the history of the world's most popular, most problematic drug, from its origins with the Incas, to early enthusiasts including Freud, and the multi-million pound industry it is today. His journey takes him from the darkest corners of the British Library to the isolation cells of America's most secure prisons, from the crack houses of New York to the deepest jungles of South America, as he meets the economists, scientists, law enforcers, historians and traffickers who are involved in policing - and running - the cocaine trade. 1x8 b/w illustration section