Your book review should INCLUDE the following components (A, B, C and D):
A. Introduction (no less than 3 paragraphs). Brief overview of the theme and purpose of the book.
B. Responses to eight discussion questions in an essay format using evidence from the book and peer review articles (minimum three that are cited in your bibliography to support your responses. Remember to cite specific quotes in APA format and citations should be no more than 1-2 sentences. Do not copy multiple sentences or paragraphs into your review. I want to read your thoughts and opinions not others.
Label & Answer all discussion questions below:
1. Did Mr. Hari convince you that theories he proposed were true? Identify two and explain. Is his case sound? What are the flaws in his argument?
2. Does it surprise you that one of the strongest proponents for war on drugs is the organized crime industry? What about the fact that the prohibition laws were, and still are, at least partly motivated by racially tinged hysteria or that the initial calls for prohibition were based on junk science, e.g., the “unspeakable sexual depravity” that marijuana use would unleash? *Include references from but not limited toll: Michelle Alexander’s book “The New Jim Crow” OR you can read reviews posted on BB in book review folder. “Ten Year after Jim Crow” & “Drug Policy as Race Policy”.
4. One of the more breathtaking portions is the tale of a punitive anti-drug regime in Arizona that took the life of Prisoner 109416-Marcia Powell-a forty-something crystal meth addict who in May 2009 was left outdoors in a metal cage for four hours in searing heat by prison officers encouraged to believe that addicts had rendered themselves subhuman. Are such actions consistent with the values and image that we wish associated with America? Has the War on Drugs corrupted our entire criminal justice system?
5. Many conservatives profess to believe in a limited government. Government should refrain from action unless the proposed course of action passes a cost/benefit litmus test. Is there a cogent argument that the benefits of drug prohibition exceed its cost? The United States is now the most prolific jailer in the history of the world. How do we enumerate the costs of imprisoning such a large portion of our population?
6. One common criticism of “Chasing the Scream” is Mr. Hari too often glosses over what the concerted use of particular drugs, particularly heroin and methamphetamine, entails. Are the book’s theme and underlying thesis undermined by this purported failing? Mr. Hari has had issues with plagiarism and other questionable conduct in the past. Does this color your impression of the book?
7. During alcohol prohibition, battles between organized crime and authorities transformed major cities like Chicago into chaotic and violent place. Mr. Hari makes a convincing case that this same cycle has engulfed vast swaths of Mexico. Would decriminalizing drugs reduce this level of chaos, or merely unleash a different form of chaos in the form of widespread addiction? If one advocates for the latter position, how can that stance be reconciled with the arguably successful examples of decriminalization in Portugal, Uruguay, and Switzerland? What about the fact that money once spent on law enforcement and imprisonment can now be channeled to rehabilitation and education?
8. The case studies, such as nicotine patch data and the “Rat Park” experiments, challenge the conventional belief that substance abuse is a chemical phenomenon. Did Mr. Hari make a convincing case that the pharmaceutical drug addiction theory is an incomplete, at best, model? Did you find validity in the “disease of loneliness” theory of drug addiction?
C) Evaluation- Does the author support arguments well? Explain. Include at least three examples from above or the text and clearly explain the strengths and weaknesses of his argument.
D) Conclusions and Reactions (at least one full page). What overall personal conclusions were made after completing this book. Provide personal reactions to the book. For example: bid you find the book engaging? Persuasive? bid you agree with it? bid you enjoy it? Would you recommend it to others? What is the intended audience of the book? Does it succeed in reaching this audience? What steps, if any, should be taken to reform this country’s drug policies? What is your one “take away” from this book? *As mentioned earlier I strongly suggest taking notes while reading and using these notes as a resource for your book review. Be sure when using quotes from the book insert quotation marks and to cite any other sources used. Use /IPA format for citing and referencing other sources. Contact me if you have additional questions!




Sample Answer

Sample Answer


Book Review: “Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari

A. Introduction

“Chasing the Scream” by Johann Hari is a thought-provoking exploration of the War on Drugs, shedding light on the historical context, societal impact, and underlying motivations behind drug prohibition. The book challenges conventional beliefs about addiction and drug policies, urging readers to reconsider existing frameworks and advocate for more humane and effective approaches to addressing substance abuse issues. Through a compelling narrative and thorough research, Hari presents a compelling case for reevaluating our current drug policies and embracing alternative solutions that prioritize rehabilitation and harm reduction.

B. Responses to Discussion Questions

1. In “Chasing the Scream,” Hari convincingly argues that the criminalization of drug users perpetuates a cycle of harm rather than addressing the root causes of addiction. His exploration of the flawed theories behind the War on Drugs and the punitive measures taken against drug users highlights the ineffectiveness of current policies in addressing addiction.

2. The book exposes the vested interests that perpetuate the War on Drugs, including organized crime groups benefiting from prohibition laws. By drawing parallels to racially motivated hysteria and flawed science, Hari challenges readers to question the underlying motives of drug prohibition and its disproportionate impact on marginalized communities.

3. The tragic story of Marcia Powell in Arizona exemplifies the dehumanizing effects of punitive drug policies within the criminal justice system. Hari’s narrative underscores how the War on Drugs has corrupted law enforcement practices and eroded fundamental values of compassion and justice in society.

C. Evaluation

Hari effectively supports his arguments by weaving personal narratives, historical accounts, and empirical evidence to illustrate the failures of current drug policies. His use of real-life examples, such as the Arizona case and international decriminalization models, strengthens his argument for a paradigm shift in addressing addiction and drug-related issues. However, some critics argue that Hari oversimplifies the complexities of drug addiction and overlooks certain nuances in his analysis.

D. Conclusions and Reactions

“Chasing the Scream” offers a compelling critique of the War on Drugs and presents a compelling case for reforming outdated drug policies. Personally, I found the book engaging and persuasive, as it challenged my preconceived notions about addiction and drug enforcement. I agree with Hari’s call for a more compassionate and evidence-based approach to tackling substance abuse issues.

I would recommend this book to individuals interested in social justice, public health, or policy reform. The intended audience seems to be anyone concerned with the societal impact of drug policies and seeking alternative solutions to address addiction. My key takeaway from this book is the importance of shifting from punitive measures to rehabilitative approaches in combating addiction, emphasizing empathy and support for those struggling with substance abuse.

Through “Chasing the Scream,” Johann Hari prompts readers to critically examine existing drug policies, advocate for reform, and prioritize compassion in addressing addiction. The book serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of punitive drug laws and the urgent need for innovative solutions rooted in empathy and understanding.

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