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Book talks

"The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade"

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UCLA Center for Mexican Studies Spring Seminar Series

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM (Pacific Time)Bunche Hall, Rm 6275 & Online

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The Mexican drug trade has inspired prejudiced narratives of a war between north and south, white and brown; between noble cops and vicious kingpins, corrupt politicians and powerful cartels. In this first comprehensive history of the trade, historian Benjamin T. Smith tells the real story of how and why this one-peaceful industry turned violent. He uncovers its origins and explains how this illicit business essentially built modern Mexico, affecting everything from agriculture to medicine to economics--and the country's all-important relationship with the United States.


Benjamin T. Smith is a prize-winning historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Mexico. He started his research in the archives, villages, churches, and markets of the predominantly indigenous state of Oaxaca. Since then he has branched out to write about indigenous politics, Catholicism, conservatism, newspapers, journalism, censorship and civil society. Now he specializes in twentieth-century politics, the narcotics trade and crime. His most recent book, The Dope: The Real History of the Mexican Drug Trade was published by Ebury/Norton in 2021.


Moderator in dialogue with author:

Fernando Perez-Montesinos 
Assistant Professor in the Department of History



Cost: Free

Special Instructions

Light refreshements will be served.

Sponsor(s): Center for Mexican Studies, Latin American Institute, Department of History