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Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs.

Although it has every good intentions, Clarence Lusane's Pipe Dream Blues: Racism and the War on Drugs doesn't quite deliver. The book does provide an interesting history of the drug problem in the United States and abroad and includes viable suggestions on how to combat that drug trade and drug abuse. But unfortunately, Pipe Dream Blues| skimpy analysis and its narrow focus in many areas prevent it from being a significant book.

There are several other weaknesses. Lusane tends to emphasize the drama of the drug crisis. For example, an analysis of Washington, D.C.'s drug culture makes for good reading, but without corroborating analysis from other communities, the social economic and political impact of the drug war on people of color is diluted. Other problems are the book's repetitious and preachy nature and its length. Two hundred and twenty pages isn't enough room to address the complex connections between racism and the war on drugs.

But not everything about the book was negative. Pipe Dream Blues' final chapter, which discusses strategies to fight drug trafficking and abuse in the United States, is solid. The resource list in the appendix is also comprehensive, including federal, state and local agencies, as well as private organizations that deal with drug and alcohol abuse and rehabilitation. But, the best reaction to Clarence Lusane's book will be if readers stop singing the blues about the drug problem and begin doing something about it.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Scott, Matthew S.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Aug 1, 1992
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