Terry Williams – The Cocaine Kids

Terry Williams – The Cocaine Kids
The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of the book “The Cocaine Kids”. This particular book was authored by Terry Williams in 1990 and was published in the same year by Da Capo Press, which has its headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The core of the author is reporting on his descent into the Manhattan`s drug hell, as well as, the mutant Horation Algers, which the author found there. To be precise, Terry wrote on this subject in order to throw a light, however in absence of blaming the victims, and also in absence of placing the teenagers in roles that are stereotypical in their attributes. Throughout the book, the author introduces storylines, which are constituted of life struggles, sharp details regarding personal lives that are characterized by big dreams and broken homes of the cocaine dealers among other things conveyed throughout the book are particularly essential as through them, a reader is able to understand the history associated to the underlying story.
Summary of the Book
The book depicts the world of N.Y.C coke dealers. The book describes the “crack house” and the lives, as well as, the activities that go on in that place. The book is written in a tight and also a clean prose. The book gives addresses issues one after another, the related ones expressed in the same chapter. The book does not just generate and address issues. Rather, it details the experiences of the author in the so called “crack house”. The book is characterized by a moral core and has the message advanced by the author is not only clear but persuasive, as well. The book has a clear but a rather simple conclusion that while these lost souls are indeed victims they must be accorded with our compassion.
Critical Assessment
The author argues that based on the nature of the lives in the crack house, the people involved are victims and though this is the case, those who lead the normal way of life should render their compassion to the lost population. From the turn of events in the book, it is not that the kids have willingly rendered themselves to the drug scene. Rather, as advanced by the author, the entire blame should be place on the Sub-cultural theorists (Carroll, 1994). As such, the theories that they advanced play a significant role in leading the cocaine kids to be drug dealers. As it is identified by the author, all the caboodles resided in an extremely poor digress of Manhattan, which is being referred to as Washington Heights it is filled with drug dealers and crack friends (Williams, 1994). In addition, the Washington Heights have been described as a place where the Dominicans and the African-Americans are the dominant races. Moreover, the vast population living in this particular area is faced with abject poverty and is characterized with almost negligible education standards (Carroll, 1994). However, the population is given over to every sort of drug.
The author introduces a character called Max, who is the indubitable prime character. The character is just fourteen years of age and is already in this game because of his brother (Williams, 1994). As the author describes the boy, he is lion hearted and moved up the ladder in an alarming rate and within five years after being introduced, he is made the leader of the business. His legacy is described as having a total of eight members (Williams, 1994). The most common thing regarding all these eight is that all had either experienced significantly poor upbringings or they have had critical losses in their families. One can assume that these are doing all this with a single aim of making ends meet. The behavioral patters that these kids have adopted are therefore not from their utmost will. It is due to the dynamics and extremes that face this world. Therefore, they ought not to be dismissed as unworthy or outcasts. Rather, those who lead the normal way of life have the duty towards such kids. The most indispensable is supporting them through compassion. With this, they can be able to deviate from the vice and instead adopt the appropriate life.
Staley (1992) expresses similar views as the author when he indicates that the people at the crack house are pushed towards engaging in this life by some particular factors. Staley (1992) cites examples from the experiences of the author to support his point of argument. Staley (1992) singles an instance where the author reveals the surprising tenderness, as well as, subtle sense of political rebellion that seemingly tend to bind together the denizens of the crack house. Given this, Staley (1992) expresses similar views as those claiming that the kids have been driven into the business by subtle theorists and their theories. Staley (1992) further indicates that this sense of political rebellion has been given rise by the perceptions that these populations in drug business have been forgotten. This is particularly so due to their nature of living living in shabby livelihoods. With this, they are destined to develop political rebellion and thus finding themselves in such unwarranted behaviors. Therefore, the kids should be drawn from such states of affairs early enough and developed in a way that makes them deviate from such vices. Wilson and Derse (2001) argue that this should be only through rendering compassion to them.
However, Wilson and Derse (2001) disapprove what William advances in the book. The criticisms of the author are based on the social life of the victims. The families of these kids are the ones that blame should place on. If a child is shown the right way of life while he or she was at the very tender age through adequate responsibility, such issues might not come to happen. The author cites Max`s example. The fact that Max was introduced into the business by his brother implies that the parents of the two boys were highly irresponsible such that they did not are to know what activities their children were engaging in (Williams, 1994). Wilson and Derse (2001) conclude that due to this fact, the kids in the rug business should not be tolerated. Rather, people should ensure that they continue making their lives meaningless and perhaps adapt measures that would see them eliminated. Wilson and Derse (2001) suggest such measures as confiding their secrets to the law makers leading to their apprehension.
From this review, it is evident that there have been different perspectives of what Terry has advanced in his book “The Cocaine Kids”. While some affirm the core idea, some have written to disregard it. On a different perspective, the organization of the book is exemplary organized and clearly written. Issues are addressed one after another in a precise and a rosy manner. In addition to this, the arguments advanced are essential and are recommendable to prospective reader. The book maps the vices of people in the society, especially pertaining to the very young persons in the society to the misplacements within the society. Therefore, the book is an invaluable academic resource material.
Carroll, W. (1994). Book Reviews : The Cocaine Kids by Terry Williams Reading. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice May,10(2), 137-138.
Staley, S. (1992). Drug policy and the decline of American cities. Piscataway, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
Williams, T. (1994). The Cocaine Kids: The Inside Story Of A Teenage Drug Ring. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.
Wilson, W. & Derse, E. (2001). Doping in elite sport: The politics of drugs in the Olympic movement. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.