Ethknoworks LLC

Michael Agar @alcaldemike

Dope Double Agent: The Naked Emperor on Drugs

Dope Double Agent is a war on drugs story, one that starts in the 60s and only ends with the last lines of the book. More than this, it is the story of a young Berkeley student--and occasional drug user--who turns into an insider expert in the drug war with a personal agenda to subvert and correct it. He checks in as a heroin patient, works the streets of New York, dips into worlds of PCP and LSD, and seeks the sources of crack, heroin and ecstasy. The delusions of the experts, the public and the politicians amaze him and make him think the double agent job will be easy. Instead it is impossible. He fails, spectacularly so on such hallowed ground as the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institutes of Health. Come behind the scenes and watch the drug policy emperor march along for decades thinking he wears a new suit of clothes.

Selected Works

Nonfiction
Wonder why studies you read about your world usually don’t get who you are and how you really live? Frustrated that “the numbers” don’t solve the problem? Does it bother you that policies and programs, more often than not, don’t work like they’re supposed to? People, organizations, countries–they rely on information about real human social lives. Usually they don’t have it because they only test what they think they already know in narrow situations of their own design. The results have value, some of the time, but it’s not nearly enough. We need a human social science that begins and ends in the real worlds of the humans that it claims to be about. One has been around for a couple of hundred years. The Lively Science tells the story of its historical roots and the reasons for its neglect, blends in new intellectual tools, and argues that it’s time to get on with a science that changes research objects into human subjects and learns who they are and what they’re trying to do before conclusions are drawn.
Living in a world of linguistic and cultural differences
A personal story of decades of work in the substance abuse field, a story of how our ineffective drug policy came to be and stayed in place. Now available as an e-book at iBook on iTunes and on Barnes and Noble.
The story of the working world of independent truckers in a time of deregulation
Nonfiction, Introductory Text
An introduction to ethnography