Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million With the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

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9780061091643: Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million With the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

This mesmerizing true account details the freewheeling evolution of the cocaine trade, following the career of a high school football star from a middle-class suburb who became a drug kingpin. George Jung began as a small-time dope dealer but was soon operating a scheme that grossed $35 billion annually--until his arrest in 1985. 8-page insert.

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About the Author:

Bruce Porter is a former writer for Newsweek and a professor at the Columbia Journalism School. He has written for the Washington Post, New York Times Magazine, Playboy, and Rolling Stone, as well as dozens of other magazines and newspapers. Porter's first book, Blow, was a bestselling New York Times Notable Book and was made into a major motion picture. He lives in New York City.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The up-your-nose, in-your-face life of George Jung, the high-school football star from small-town USA who became the American linchpin of the Colombian cocaine connection. Relying on extensive interviews with Jung and other key figures, Porter (Journalism/Brooklyn College) recounts a sleigh- ride-to-hell story of how 60's hippie innocence turned into 80's megadepravity. Porter dwells too long on Jung's unexceptional childhood (poor grades, risk-taking, shaky family life) but picks up steam when his subject comes of age--as a likable, handsome, well-muscled hedonist--and takes off for California and a haze of sunbathing, sex, pot, and LSD. Soon enough, Jung becomes chief marijuana importer to a number of prestigious East Coast colleges. Likening himself to Butch Cassidy, he moves his operation to Mexico and makes a mint until a series of busts stops him--temporarily. In prison, Jung befriends a young Carlos Lehder and links up with the Medell¡n coke cartel. The money bandied about is staggering: The Colombian suppliers gross $35 billion a year, and Jung buys a house just to stash his cash (lining floors and walls with $100 bills): ``Money, Learjets, fast cars, wild women, houses with maids,'' is how he recalls it later. Inevitably, the roller-coaster hits the steep downward slope: paranoia, as Jung snorts mountains of coke; a heart attack in his mid-30s; a car-bomb attack by Lehder, by now a business enemy; scary trips to Colombia, during one of which Jung watched coke czar Pablo Escobar execute a police informer; a flurry of arrests and escapes; finally, the Big Bust. But, as always, Jung comes out unscathed, turning state's witness (with Escobar's approval) to sing against Lehder. Set scot-free in exchange for his testimony, Jung now works in a legit delivery service, transporting fish up and down Cape Cod. How a happy hippie blew it on blow--finely researched, told with pizzazz. (Illustrations) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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