Methland by Nick Reding
The Death and Life of an American Small Town

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Criticisms of the book are few...Skim the filler and focus on the important point: People without jobs, without hope, without tomorrows, will turn to things like meth to ease the pain. It's human nature.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more true than in the small towns of the American heartland. Methland is the story of the drug as it infiltrates the community of Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), a once-thriving farming and railroad community. Tracing the connections between the lives touched by meth and the global forces that have set the stage for the epidemic, Methland offers a vital and unique perspective on a pressing contemporary tragedy.

Oelwein, Iowa is like thousand of other small towns across the county. It has been left in the dust by the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy and an out-migration of people. If this wasn't enough to deal with, an incredibly cheap, long-lasting, and highly addictive drug has come to town, touching virtually everyone's lives. Journalist Nick Reding reported this story over a period of four years, and he brings us into the heart of the town through an ensemble cast of intimately drawn characters, including: Clay Hallburg, the town doctor, who fights meth even as he struggles with his own alcoholism; Nathan Lein, the town prosecutor, whose case load is filled almost exclusively with meth-related crime, and Jeff Rohrick, who is still trying to kick a meth habit after four years.

Methland is a portrait of a community under siege, of the lives the drug has devastated, and of the heroes who continue to fight the war. It will appeal to readers of David Sheff's bestselling Beautiful Boy, and serve as inspiration for those who believe in the power of everyday people to change their world for the better.
 

About Nick Reding

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Nick Reding is the author of The Last Cowboys at the End of the World, and his writing has appeared in Outside, Food and Wine, and Harper's. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he decided to move back to his home town in the course of reporting this book.
 
Published July 1, 2009 by Bloomsbury USA. 282 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Crime. Non-fiction
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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Van Buren on Jan 18 2014

Criticisms of the book are few...Skim the filler and focus on the important point: People without jobs, without hope, without tomorrows, will turn to things like meth to ease the pain. It's human nature.

Read Full Review of Methland: The Death and Life ... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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