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Reviews Written by
M. A. K. Khan (London, England)

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Just Contempo Broderie Anglaise Duvet Cover Set - King, White
Just Contempo Broderie Anglaise Duvet Cover Set - King, White
Price: £36.49

5.0 out of 5 stars but when it did she found it wonderful and just what she, 9 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
My daughter has recently moved into a new home and this was her Christmas present. It arrived late, but when it did she found it wonderful and just what she needed

Venice Faux Leather Sofa Suite Sette Sofabed with Chrome Feet (Red)
Venice Faux Leather Sofa Suite Sette Sofabed with Chrome Feet (Red)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is very good for the price, 8 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is very good for the price. The colour's loved by everyone who's seen it. The legs are trendy and it has an easy action to turn it into a comfortable large single bed - not double

Wishing Tree
Wishing Tree
by William Faulkner
Edition: Hardcover

5.0 out of 5 stars A surprising find by a William Faulkner fan, 26 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Wishing Tree (Hardcover)
I bought a hardcover copy in 1967 by ordering it from a bookseller called Compendium Books in London, who used to import US publications, a rare species in those days. I treasured it and read it with wonder. Later I would read it to my daughter and to my class at school. I am sure it would enthral young readers and old today - the sorts of readers who are blown away by Harry Potter, but shorter and more succinct

The Indian Ideology
The Indian Ideology
by Perry Anderson
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Away The Occluding Myths, 8 Aug. 2013
This review is from: The Indian Ideology (Hardcover)
Having read the first essay - "Gandhi Centre Stage" - in one sitting, the experience was like the one described by Stendhal of "a pistol shot in the middle of an opera. Things can never be the same again..". It cannot be comfortable reading for many Indians of my generation, brought up in the living mythology surrounding Gandhi in India, and later, post his assassination in 1948, growing up in the London of the late 1950s. The essay requires a rigorous unflinching look at the past. I look forward to reading the remaining two essays when I receive my copy of the book

The Khat Controversy: Stimulating the Debate on Drugs
The Khat Controversy: Stimulating the Debate on Drugs
by David Anderson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £20.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Khat as a non=problem, 12 Jan. 2010
This book, published in April 2007, provides the most thorough and up to date evidence on Khat: its cultivation, production and consumption. It does so at a time when UK politicians are coming under strong pressure to classify Khat as a drug, and thereby to criminalise its consumption, thereby criminalising those who use it. It demands to be read by politicians, policy makers, researchers, as well as by members of the public. We are likely to see other research and opinion on Khat in the coming months. However, such research, in my view and based upon what I have seen of it, is limited in scope and goi8ng over evidence that is already there. 'the Khat Controversy" should also be of interest to those disenchanted with the war against drugs as it sketches out an alternative way of regulating and controlling drug use. It demands to be read.

Drugs and the World
Drugs and the World
by Axel Klein
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.26

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History Lessons, 23 Jun. 2009
This review is from: Drugs and the World (Paperback)
I reviewed this book for Drugscope's Druglink journal (March-April 2008). A copy is appended:
Axel Klein
Reaktion Books Ltd

This is a vexed and pessimistic book about the global drugs phenomenon as things stand today. It registers grave concerns about the international nature of the "war against drugs": the increasing regulation by the state of individual conduct around drug demand and supply reduction; the public cost of this war, without seeming end, in terms of human misery, and loss of liberty without real or apparent benefits in drug use reduction; and, the stranglehold that has been established by states, underpinned by international conventions, and reinforced by the popular media, for any reasoned popular debate or public space for one to be had. The recent public rebuke of Professor David Nutt, Chair of ACMD by Jacqui Smith, MP, Secretary of State for the Home Department is a sobering reminder of what happens when someone who is part of the regulatory system is seen to be breaking ranks. This kind of ceaseless and relentless intrusion by the state, summed up in the phrase "war against drugs" and its costing and analysis is what makes this book so vexed and pessimistic. The book argues for reform of better and more humane regulation of substance use. It is not about legalisation. On the contrary, it points out the risks and dangers to which individuals, particularly the young, and communities are exposed to around the use of substances, while acknowledging cultural, recreational and auto-neurasthenic benefits. This reform of a regulatory system will not come from the inside but from outsiders, activists, supported by an informed public. This then is the constituency of readers it is primarily aimed at.

The book marshals its arguments by providing a panoramic inventory of things, beginning with an analysis of the history of drug control via the Temperance Movement, in alliance with some members of the medical professions and state intervention. While there may have been some paternalist good intentions behind it, the book argues, such as saving individuals and communities from themselves, drug control has been an unmitigated disaster and led to perverse outcomes: methods and approaches applied have done more harm than good; sight of the primary objective has been lost in implementation; vested interests have led to power tussles and corruption; and, the reasons for the human penchant for taking drugs has not been seriously understood.

Subsequent chapters include an analysis of drug consumption within the context of control; its "othering" and inescapable links with crime; typologies of crime; the treatment of addiction, using the disease model; and once again, more corruption. There is a brief but interesting chapter on the possible benefits of drug use, followed by a more detailed analysis of the culture of using specific substances in different societies. This chapter is interesting, and one wishes for more. There is an underlying assumption about the benefits this understanding could bring to the control and sanctions of substance use by communities and local actors. Surely, one area that could benefit from the kind of activism the book advocates is precisely where community based approaches, of the kind initiated by Susan Beckerleg, who has worked previously with the author, are able to harness the resources in treatment and rehabilitation in Europe, to buttress and train communities around the cultural sanctions which these communities have used around traditional substances by extending them to counter the influx of now internationally available substances ravaging lives of migrating communities from the countryside to urban slums.

The author brings to bear his wide experience and knowledge as a medical anthropologist, who has worked on projects in Kenya, Jamaica and other parts of the world to produce interconnects between the local and the global in the later chapters. He brings out the underlying tensions and distortions that exist within an overriding control system and structure and between control and development issues. Much of this material is new and needs to be read.

Much else also has been traversed by other key historical texts such as Virginia Berridge's `Opium and the People'; Gossop's `Living with Drugs'; the two classics by Marek Kohn, `Narcomania' and `Dope Girls'; the Addiction Research Foundation's `Drugs and Drug Abuse'; Tyler's `Street Drugs'; `Crack House' by Terry Williams; A.W. McCoy's monumental `The Politics of Heroin: CIA complicity in the Global Drug Trade'; and `Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice' by Reinarmann and Levine. These books are mentioned because I do feel that they should have been mentioned in this book. The struggle for a wholesale reform of the global drug control apparatus that Axel Klein argues for needs all the help it can get, however much we may share his pessimism.
He talks of change having to come from the outside, from people he refers vaguely to as activists. This is the flimsiest part of his argument. There is no mention of networks like TRANSFORM in UK or the Drug Policy Allowance in the States. I am reminded that while it may be true that knowledge is as old as the hills, there is a point to saying things anew, because while everything has been said the paradox is that nothing has been understood.
Kazim Khan is the Co-ordinator of T3E (UK), and a Research Associate at
Middlesex University
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 14, 2011 3:36 PM GMT

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