Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel – Tom Wainwright

Ever wondered where specific drugs come from? How governments try to control their production? How cartels avoid or coerce police? How cartels recruit and distribute? How they smuggle drugs and move money? Ever wondered about demand and supply in the black market of drugs?

I don’t think it’s too hard to sell someone on this. So many of us are curious about these workings. The author does a great job of discussing the economics of drugs, often through interesting first-hand anecdotes. I find I can only read non-fiction with some sort of anecdotal demonstration or narrative structure so it really helps! An example is a wife of a cartel worker seeing her husband boast his new cash words to his mistress, who leaks these while drunk, leading the wife to find out about her husband’s extra-marital affairs and report him to the border authority before a big smuggling job. The book also tells us of overall ideas of specific societies in which these cartels operate. For example, one chapter discusses reform in Dominican prisons and rates of reoffending, which all ties into comparing instances of warring cartels in different nations.

An insightful read!