Saturday, February 16, 2013

Review: Smuggler Nation, by Peter Andreas


SMUGGLER NATION: How Illicit Trade Made America
Peter Andreas
Oxford University Press
February 14, 2013
472 Pages

Really? America was made through smuggling and other illicit trades? Peter Andreas presents a fascinating view of history in his book SMUGGLER NATION. His purpose is to tell how smuggling and the endless quest to police it have made and continued to remake America through our present day. Perhaps a shocker to many Americans, this compelling narrative is backed up with extensive research and the writer’s skillful logical well planned chronology of events. From the early days of our nascent nation smuggling was inherent in its growth. Beginning with the infamous triangular trade routes to the recent history of drug smuggling, arms smuggling and human smuggling, the evidence is certainly convincing.

Andreas pens a historical narrative of violence, crime, war, greed, corruption and that is a storyboard for an action big screen movie. For example, he documents the stories of smuggling guns and supplies for the American Revolution, smuggling and busting through blockades during the American Civil War and the smuggling of industrial technology from Europe. Astor, Brown, Hancock names of some of the first successful and often multi-millionaire merchants were smugglers or relied on illicit trade to gain advantage. The author notes the irony. “that a country made of smuggling has now become the world’s leading anti-smuggling crusader.”  

SMUGGLER NATION is a remarkably candid history, naked in fact without cover-up, that will undoubtedly stimulate discussion and reflection. Peter Andreas excites his readers with an unexpected and atypical history. Highly recommended as an essential read for American History scholars as well as the curious.  Smuggler's Nation is well written and captivating. The author puzzles together the history of America that makes so much sense, peppered with stirring stories of clandestine operations and rebellious adventure.

Disclosure: A kindle version of this book was provided by Net Galley and the publisher at no cost.
My review is submitted without bias. 

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2008-2013].

 Wisteria Leigh February 14, 2013

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