The Skimmer

Methland: The Death And Life of an American Small Town By Nick Reding Bloomsbury USA; 255 pages

In the 1930s, doctors touted methamphetamine as a miracle drug "that would end the need for all others." Today it's one of the most addictive and dangerous substances in the world. In this case study, journalist Nick Reding examines how the meth epidemic decimated Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), where police at one point were dismantling two crank labs a week. For Reding, who spent four years reporting among Oelwein's addicts, officials and residents, the drug is more than just a small-town scourge. Meth, he...

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