I. Introduction and Overview
There is something very interesting about a book with a cover promising lurid tales of sex, drugs, and cheap labor. The persona of Eric Schlosser's subject and the effective marketing behind it are very verbose in nature.
Here in this book, Eric Schlosser is keeping with the long tradition of the so called, "yellow" journalism, in wresting the black market, from the back alleys of public consciousness and putting it on display in the storefront of the eye of everyone. In the painfully, yet enjoyable essays, Eric Schlosser takes us on many numerous excursions through the war on marijuana, the lives of immigrant farm workers, and the very dirty sex industry in the United States. He paints a very graphic image of hypocrisy in the policies of the U.S. government by examining the power of the economy of the underground and the misuse of government resources in legislating morality to its public. .
II. Major Issues
In each of the authors essays in this book, is the truth of the smut and other things of the American ideal. You could say it is a liitle bit Weber's Protestant Ethic meets Larry Flynt. In each scenario, whether through agricultural facility and personal liberties, in the case of marijuana criminalization; immigrants in search of a better life, in the case of stigmatized farm workers; or punishing a successful businessman because of his lack of morals, Eric Schlosser returns to the unpleasant image of America as a bundle of hypocrisies.
On one level, each scenario is of an American archetype of success. For a country that prides itself on its immigrant history, hard-work ethic, and financial success stories, it seems strange to make these folks look like the villains. This is what Eric Schlosser is getting at: that these people would be heroes if the American ideal were anything more than a myth. Forgotten in that ideal, rationalized somehow, is the fact that our national heritage also...
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