By Alexandra Chasin
In Assassin of Youth, Alexandra Chasin offers us a lyrical, digressive, humorous, and eventually riveting quasi-biography of Anslinger. Her remedy of the fellow, his occasions, and the realm that arose round and during him is an element cultural background, half kaleidoscopic meditation. all the brief chapters is anchored in a ancient document—the court docket selection in Webb v. US (1925), a 1935 map of East Harlem, FBN education fabrics from the Nineteen Fifties, a private letter from the Treasury division in 1985—each of which opens onto Anslinger and his context. From the Pharmacopeia of 1820 to loss of life of Sandra Bland in 2015, from the Pennsylvania Railroad to the final passenger pigeon, and with forays into gangster lives, CIA operatives, and well known detective tales, Chasin covers striking ground. Assassin of Youth is as riotous and free a heritage of drug legislation as may be imagined—and but it culminates in an arresting and targeted revision of the emergence of drug prohibition.
Today, at the same time marijuana is slowly being legalized, we nonetheless haven't totally reckoned with the racist and xenophobic foundations of our cultural urge for food for the serious punishment of drug offenders. In Assassin of Youth, Chasin indicates us the deep, twisted roots of either our love and our hatred for drug prohibition.
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Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger’s War on Drugs by Alexandra Chasin