Streatfeild, Dominic 1969-

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Streatfeild, Dominic 1969-


Born 1969.


Writer and documentary filmmaker.


Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography, Virgin (London, England), 2001, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2002.


Author and documentary filmmaker Dominic Streatfeild offers a "fascinating and richly detailed story of the world's most notorious drug and an illicit $92-billion-a-year industry" in his book Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography, commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. In what a Kirkus Reviews contributor named a "hyperactive celebration of Erythoxylum coca and its most powerful by-product," Streatfeild covers the history and development of cocaine, as a substance with medicinal and religious uses, as a cash crop, and as a powerful, deadly, and illegal drug. He describes cocaine's origins in the Erythoxylum shrub and describes how the drug is made. He reports on how growing cocaine is an economic boon for South American farmers, who can realize several times more profit on cocaine than on traditional crops. He covers cocaine's early uses in America, including as an early additive to Coca-Cola, and as a drug of choice for prominent scientists such as Sigmund Freud. Streatfeild also chronicles how cocaine became a controlled substance, the rise of the Colombian drug cartels who control much of the drug's production and distribution, how cocaine has evolved into its deadly form of crack, and how, despite its drawbacks, cocaine has become the highly popular, if highly illegal, drug it is today. Streatfeild also looks at the legal and social effects of cocaine and its byproducts, with an eye toward the association between cocaine and criminal behavior, the ill-fated U.S. war on drugs, and efforts to legalize cocaine and other drugs.

The book "covers the entire history of cocaine starting from the ancient Andes, moving through nineteenth-century laboratories and ending on the mean streets of modern addiction. Brisk and well-researched, Cocaine is informed by obscure archives and lost books, as well as dynamic first-hand reporting," commented Brooklyn Rail reviewer Christian Parenti. "Thorough, engrossing, balanced, and entertaining, it is important social history in palatable form," remarked Mike Tribby in Booklist.



Booklist, June 1, 2002, Mike Tribby, review of Cocaine: An Unauthorized Biography, p. 1654.

BookPage, July, 2002, Edward Morris, review of Cocaine, p. 27.

Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2002, review of Cocaine, p. 478.

Library Journal, May 1, 2002, Randall M. Miller, review of Cocaine, p. 122.

Maclean's, July 1, 2002, review of Cocaine, p. 99.

Publishers Weekly, May 13, 2002, review of Cocaine, p. 66.


Brooklyn Rail, (March 28, 2007), Christian Parenti, "White Line Highway," review of Cocaine.

Detroit News Online, (August 10, 2002), Jim Haner, review of Cocaine.

Foocha!, (October 13, 2002), review of Cocaine.

Generation Woman, (August 12, 2002), Nancy Masocco, review of Cocaine.