OVERRIDE

Public Affairs
Hardcover $26.99
Narconomics
How to Run a Drug Cartel

Summary

What drug lords learned from big business

How does a budding cartel boss succeed (and survive) in the 300 billion illegal drug business? By learning from the best, of course. From creating brand value to fine-tuning customer service, the folks running cartels have been attentive students of the strategy and tactics used by corporations such as Walmart, McDonald's, and Coca-Cola.
     And what can government learn to combat this scourge? By analyzing the cartels as companies, law enforcers might better understand how they work—and stop throwing away 100 billion a year in a futile effort to win the “war” against this global, highly organized business.
     Your intrepid guide to the most exotic and brutal industry on earth is Tom Wainwright. Picking his way through Andean cocaine fields, Central American prisons, Colorado pot shops, and the online drug dens of the Dark Web, Wainwright provides a fresh, innovative look into the drug trade and its 250 million customers.
     The cast of characters includes “Bin Laden,” the Bolivian coca guide; “Old Lin,” the Salvadoran gang leader; “Starboy,” the millionaire New Zealand pill maker; and a cozy Mexican grandmother who cooks blueberry pancakes while plotting murder. Along with presidents, cops, and teenage hitmen, they explain such matters as the business purpose for head-to-toe tattoos, how gangs decide whether to compete or collude, and why cartels care a surprising amount about corporate social responsibility.
More than just an investigation of how drug cartels do business, Narconomics is also a blueprint for how to defeat them.

about Tom Wainwright

  • Tom Wainwright is the homepage editor of The Economist. Until 2012 he was the Mexico City correspondent of The Economist, covering Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as parts of South America and the United States border region. He has freelanced for newspapers including the London Times, the Guardian, the Literary Review, and assorted other newspapers. He has a first-class degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford University. Wainwright lives in London, England.

reviews

Narconomics is the book that Sean Penn wanted to write. Tom Wainwright may not have interviewed Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, but he did talk to drug kingpins every bit as ruthless and intimidating in writing this book…[and] he makes a convincing case…[Narconomics] presents an incisive look into a worldwide problem. Few Americans have escaped the corrosive influence of the drug trade on a family member or friend; this book explains the magnitude of the problem.”—The Washington Times

“Tom Wainwright of the Economist brings a fine and balanced analytical mind to some very good research…”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

Narconomics: How to Run a Drug Cartel could not have come at a more pertinent time…The Economist's former Mexico City correspondent offers some needed context to the region wide debate over drug policy.”—Americas Quarterly

“[Wainwright's] book is courageous on several levels… [he] challenges everyone at once—the dealers, the drug czars, and the bystanders in between. A daring work of investigative journalism and a well-reasoned argument for smarter drug policies.”—Kirkus Reviews

“[Tom Wainwright] brings a fine and balanced analytical mind to some very good research…By looking at the drug trade as a business, Wainwright is able to reveal much about why it wreaks such havoc in Central and South America. Wainwright show[s] how drug violence is not so much senseless but the devastating result of economic calculations taken to their brutal extreme. [His] conclusion is titled 'Why Economists Make the Best Police Officers.' It is one of the pithiest and most persuasive arguments for drug law reform I have ever read.”—Misha Glenny, New York Times Sunday Book Review

“A lively and engaging book, informed by both dogged reporting and gleanings from academic research...”—Wall Street Journal

"A cracking read."—Reuters

"One of the most exciting business books of the last few years."—Management Today

"Tom Wainwright has powerfully argued in favor of legalizing drugs. He says that the policies aimed at stifling the drug trade seem to be misdirected and have failed... a controversial but well-argued book... a must-read for everyone interested in solving the drug issue. Wainwright makes a lot of sense at a time when the world seems helpless against drug traffickers."—The Washington Book Review

other editions

  • Hardcover | ISBN 9781610395830
    Pub date: 02/23/2016 | Price: $26.99 / 34.99 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    6.500 x 9.625 | 288 Pages
    BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Trade & Tariffs
    TRUE CRIME / Organized Crime
  • Paperback | ISBN 9781610397704
    Pub date: 04/11/2017 | Price: $16.99 / 22.49 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    5.500 x 8.250 | 288 Pages
    BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Trade & Tariffs
    TRUE CRIME / Organized Crime
  • eBook | ISBN 9781610395847
    Pub date: 02/23/2016 | Price: $11.99 / 14.99 Canada
    Publisher: PublicAffairs
    288 Pages
    BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Industries / General
    POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Trade & Tariffs
    TRUE CRIME / Organized Crime