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Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers, and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade Hardcover – 29 Nov 2013

3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press (29 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0231161344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0231161343
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,099,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Thai Stick is a remarkable story, rich in untold details about a vastly lucrative yet little known trade.--Anne McClintock, Simone de Beauvoir Professor in English and Women and Gender Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison

An extraordinary work, being at once an participatory anthropology, a detached sociology, a cultural history, a remarkable example of oral history, a series of smuggling stories, and many other things to boot.--Anders Stephanson, Andrew and Virginia Rudd Family Foundation Professor of History, Columbia University

or millions of American baby boomers, mere mention of the words "Thai Stick" conjures potent memories of a magical time, of days and nights that were as a dreamscape. And those words also evoke questions. Where did that stuff come from? How did it get here? Why was it so wickedly devastating? What happened to it? Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter answer those questions and much more in this rollicking story of swashbuckling surf punks gone wild. At once cutting-edge research and candid autobiography, the authors unravel the heretofore hidden history of the trans-Pacific cannabis trade in a way that only those who were there possibly could. This globe straddling tale rolls from Southern California surf shops to the beaches of Baja, from Maui to seedy bars in Thailand and on into the jungles of Laos, and from communist extermination camps in Cambodia back to DEA Headquarters in Washington. Along the way, we are introduced to a cast of real-life characters who are stranger than fiction, and 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

For millions of American baby boomers, mere mention of the words "Thai Stick" conjures potent memories of a magical time, of days and nights that were as a dreamscape. And those words also evoke questions. Where did that stuff come from? How did it get here? Why was it so wickedly devastating? What happened to it? Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter answer those questions and much more in this rollicking story of swashbuckling surf punks gone wild. At once cutting-edge research and candid autobiography, the authors unravel the heretofore hidden history of the trans-Pacific cannabis trade in a way that only those who were there possibly could. This globe straddling tale rolls from Southern California surf shops to the beaches of Baja, from Maui to seedy bars in Thailand and on into the jungles of Laos, and from communist extermination camps in Cambodia back to DEA Headquarters in Washington. Along the way, we are introduced to a cast of real-life characters who are stranger than fiction, and 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

"Peter Maguire's Thai Stick is a brilliant history 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 and an intense, highly entertaining read.--Nicholas Schou, author of "Kill the Messenger" (Nation Books, 2006) "Orange Sunshine "(Thomas Dunne, 2010), and "The Weed Runners", ( Chicago Review Press, 2013)

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

"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" (01/01/0001)

A rattling good yarn.--Bradley Winterton"Taipei Times" (01/01/0001)

A remarkable story, rich in untold details about a vastly lucrative yet little known trade.--Anne McClintock, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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"

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" (01/01/0001)

A rattling good yarn.

--Bradley Winterton-Taipei Times- (01/01/0001)

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 "

About the Author

Peter Maguire is the author of Law and War and Facing Death in Cambodia. He is a historian and former war-crimes investigator whose writings have been published in the International Herald Tribune, New York Times, The Independent, Newsday, and Boston Globe. He has taught law and war theory at Columbia University and Bard College. Mike Ritter dropped out of the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 1967 and set off on the Hippie Trail to Afghanistan and India, where he began smuggling hash and marijuana in 1968 and continued for eighteen years. He recently graduated from the University of Hawaii with an undergraduate degree in astronomy and physics. David Farber is as a professor in the Department of History at Temple University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and is the author or coeditor of several books, including The Rise and Fall of Modern American Conservatism and Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America's First Encounter with Radical Islam.


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