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Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade
 
 

Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade [Kindle Edition]

Peter Maguire , Mike Ritter

Print List Price: £19.95
Kindle Price: £10.79 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Review

A remarkable story, rich in untold details about a vastly lucrative yet little known trade. -- Anne McClintock, University of Wisconsin--Madison An extraordinary work, at once a participatory anthropology, detached sociology, cultural history, remarkable example of oral history, series of smuggling stories, and many other things to boot. -- Anders Stephanson, Columbia University At once cutting-edge research and candid autobiography, this globe-straddling tale rolls from Southern California surf shops to the beaches of Baja, from Maui to seedy bars in Thailand and the jungles of Laos, and from communist extermination camps in Cambodia to DEA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Along the way, the authors introduce a cast of real-life characters stranger than fiction, who earned their place in the annals of American crime by chasing their own dreams across the high seas and back again, creating a billion-dollar black market industry in the process, sometimes at the cost of their freedom and sometimes at the cost of their lives. -- Craig Etcheson, war crimes investigator From the dank highlands of Siam to the sage-blown point breaks of Alta California, Thai Stick explores the relationship between surf culture and the 'funny business.' Maguire -- grounded in law, history, and the surfing life -- is exactly the right author for this street-level breakdown of smuggling in the 1970s. -- Scott Hulet, The Surfer's Journal Thai Stick is a brilliant story of the surfers and watermen who pioneered the trans-Pacific pot trade. Adventurous and often hilarious, the book's narrative blows open one of the last remaining secrets of the hippie era. It also exposes the dark side of the business and its occasionally tragic consequences. Thai Stick is at once an authoritative work of history and an intense, highly entertaining read. -- Nicholas Schou, author of The Weed Runners: Travels with the Outlaw Capitalists of America's Medical Marijuana Trade Thai Stick is a rare, heart-stopping story about California surfers, hippies and straight out druggies who smuggled potent marijuana from Thailand to the United States and changed the shape of the American drug culture. Based on interviews with the modern day pirates, Thai Stickcaptures the wild aura of the 1970s and 1980s dope trade and the U.S. War on Drugs that tried to stop it. -- Elizabeth Becker ...a rattling good yarn... -- Bradley Winterton Taipei Times 12-26-2013

Product Description

Thailand's capital, Krungtep, known as Bangkok to Westerners and "the City of Angels" to Thais, has been home to smugglers and adventurers since the late eighteenth century. During the 1970s, it became a modern Casablanca to a new generation of treasure seekers: from surfers looking to finance their endless summers to wide-eyed hippie true believers and lethal marauders leftover from the Vietnam War. Moving a shipment of Thai sticks from northeast Thailand farms to American consumers meant navigating one of the most complex smuggling channels in the history of the drug trade.

Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter are the first historians to document this underground industry, the only record of its existence rooted in the fading memories of its elusive participants. Conducting hundreds of interviews with smugglers and law enforcement agents, the authors recount the buy, the delivery, the voyage home, and the product offload. They capture the eccentric personalities who transformed the Thai marijuana trade from a GI cottage industry into one of the world's most lucrative commodities, unraveling a rare history from the smugglers' perspective.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1538 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0231161344
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (19 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FO81YQM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,933 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Popular history done right 18 Dec 2013
By surfimp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is a great read and I wasn't able to put it down. I felt the author did an excellent job of combining voluminous research and interviews along with recollections of his own youthful dalliance with smuggling, thereby personalizing and investing the story with a sort of authenticity that many historians can't muster.

The "scammers" featured here are cast in a sympathetic but still honest and critical light. Although the author doesn't explicitly make the point, you can see a tragic arc in each of the stories: they got interested in illicit trade to help finance their surfing / hippie lifestyle, but ultimately each one of them was consumed by the trade and most set surfing aside to focus on making their scores and living the high life (literally and figuratively). This led to predictable consequences, but even though you can pretty much guess what's coming, the stories and ingenuity of the protagonists is truly fine entertainment. This is a great story told well.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Must Read 14 Nov 2013
By TMBrown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
In Thai Stick, Peter Maguire and co-author Mike Ritter manage to capture not just the wild-wild east of the early marijuana trade, but the story of an entire generation testing what it was to be an "outlaw" in all kinds of new ways. Some of us, perhaps ignorantly, tend to regard surfing as the preserve of laid-back "dudes" without a hell of a lot of ambition besides the next big wave, but Thai Stick explodes that notion, showing us hard-hard watermen with more than a little capitalistic ambition and a hell of a lot of balls. Great stories, great book.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 6 Nov 2013
By honey20h - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wow, amazing stories. The author gives you such detail into the lives of smugglers, how they lived and the money they made. Makes you want to become an old school surfer.great read,fun and extremely exciting
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, well researched. 20 May 2014
By Harold - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I am not a writer, but I am an avid reader and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It appears to be well researched, and the author has gone to great lengths in his research and exposed himself to no little personal risk to bring us the characters and tales of adventure experienced during the era of thai stick smuggling.
I would love to read a follow-up book on the smugglers that brought us the less potent Central and South American weed that more of us would be familiar with if, like myself, one grew up in the 60's and 70's.
Great little book.
Get it. Read it. Reminisce.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Pirate Looks at 70 26 Dec 2013
By Patrick Cannon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I lived this and know almost everyone from the book and the day. This is really the book I could have written but was reluctant to name names, now I see that enough time has passed that it doesn't really matter anymore.
Jimmy Buffet told the story his way and I'll tell it mine someday, but in the meantime I have to say that Ritter and Maguire got it mostly right, even though there are a lot of holes in the story. Maybe it's only fun to those that lived this great adventure and maybe some will learn something from the history. What is true is that in many states, including my own, anyone can legally get a license and go to the corner to obtain the Sacrament. In my lifetime it will be legal in every state,this above all will lift the veil. As Jimmy Buffet so beautifully stated:

"Yes, I was a Pirate, born 200 years too late - Made enough money to buy Miami but I pissed it away so fast, never meant to last, never meant to last".
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