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Reviewed by Keith Mbuya for Readers' Favorite
The war waged on narcotic drugs and the drug trade in the US – launched in the 1970s – has been ongoing for decades now. Despite making remarkable progress – evidenced by the incarceration of notorious Mexican drug lords – there still seems to be a long way to go in winning it. High numbers of drug abusers, drug-related deaths, and other drug-associated cases are still being reported. Why is this so? In his quest to capture and give an untainted image of the situation surrounding the drug trade in the US, R. V. Gundur takes readers on a journey from the sister cities around the US-Mexico border – Elpaso and Juarez – moving on to Phoenix and Chicago, in his book Trying to Make it.
R. V. Gundur’s Trying to Make it is just what you should be looking for if you love non-fiction true crime stories. Gundur systematically tackles and analyses the different angles and stances taken by American political figures and the general public on the issue of the drug trade in the US. He does this through personal encounters with a diverse group of role players in both the drug trade and government institutions, and details of interviewees’ experiences. His vivid depictions and images have readers roaming the streets, bars, prisons, courtrooms, and the many other locations he visited. I appreciated the detailed historical background information Gundur gives on the locations and institutions. From Trying to Make it, it is clear the drug trade in the US may not be run by villainized figures, but by ordinary people who are just trying to make it.