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Land of Opportunity: One Family's Quest for the American Dream in the Age of Crack
by William M. Adler
University of Michigan Press, 2021
Paper: 978-0-472-03863-3 | eISBN: 978-0-472-12931-7
Library of Congress Classification HV5805.C48A65 2021
Dewey Decimal Classification 364.177092277434

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Part true crime, part work of urban sociology, Land of Opportunity is a meticulously researched account of the rise and fall of the Chambers brothers, who ran a multi-million-dollar crack cocaine operation in Detroit in the 1980s.   Descended from Arkansas sharecroppers, BJ, Larry, and Willie Chambers moved to Detroit seeking economic opportunity, and built a successful drug empire by applying strict business principles to their trade; their business grossed an estimated $55 million annually until the brothers were sent to prison in 1989.  Reading the Chambers brothers in the context of the fall of the Detroit auto-industry and its impact on the city’s economy and residents, Land of Opportunity demonstrates how for the Chambers brothers, crack dealing was a rational career choice; and through the Chambers brothers’ story, Adler provides bottom-up history of late Second Great Migration, deindustrialization, the War on Drugs, and crack era in both Detroit and the United States.

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