The Candy Machine : How Cocaine Took Over the World, Paperback

The Candy Machine : How Cocaine Took Over the World Paperback

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Cutting through the myths about the white market, Tome Feiling's "The Candy Machine" is the story of cocaine as it's never been told before.

Gabrielle unwinds at weekends with a line of coke - and also works for a major police force.

Juan Pablo is a drugs mule in Bogota who gets his stash from a sweathouse.

Belica started picking coca when she was eleven. Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, thinks legalization's the only way...Cocaine is big business.

Governments spend millions on an unwinnable war against it, yet it's now the drug of choice in the West.

How did the cocaine economy get so huge? Who keeps it running behind the scenes? In "The Candy Machine" Tom Feiling travels the trade routes from Colombia via Miami, Kingston and Tijuana to London and New York.

He meets Medellin hitmen, US kingpins, British crack users and Brazilian traffickers, and talks to the soldiers and narcotics officers who fight the gangs. "An important study of the cultivation, usage and suppression of cocaine". ("Financial Times"). "The Candy Machine is highly addictive". ("Metro"). "It is hard to decide if Tom Feiling's future lies as a QC or the new Paul Theroux. A vivid, argumentative, arresting book". ("Sunday Telegraph"). "I've read a few documentary accounts of the rise of cocaine, and this might be the best of them". ("Evening Standard"). Tom Feiling is an award-winning documentary film-maker.

He spent a year living and working in Colombia before making "Resistencia: Hip-Hop in Colombia", which won numerous awards at film festivals around the world, and was broadcast in four countries.

In 2003 he became Campaigns Director for the TUC's Justice for Colombia campaign, which organizes for human rights in Colombia.

His book "Short Walks from Bogota: Journeys in the new Colombia" is published by Allen Lane.




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Feiling has made well written and cogently argued analysis of the cocaine trade specifically, and the prohibition of drugs in general. This is a welcome addition to the ever growing chorus arguing in favour of drug policy reform.