He leaves Oelwein in the midst of a fragile but hopeful renaissance, with a new industrial park, library, and expanded downtown. Reding positions the meth epidemic as the triumph of profits over the safety and prosperity of America's small-town inhabitants. What struck me most was his description of meth as ‘a sociocultural cancer.’”.

After 30 years of economic downturn, culminating with the loss of union jobs from Iowa Ham (now owned by Tyson) and the exodus of a factory owned by Bloomington-based Donaldson Co., some Oelwein residents feel further victimized by seeing their town's dark side become national news. . "I don't want Oelwein to be labeled that way. (2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful). ", "If [people in town] would just read the book, they'd come away with a completely different feeling," said library program coordinator Ricchio.

'Vicious cycle' is not an adequate term. The town has no bookstore, and the book is back-ordered on Amazon. Oelwein serves as a case study of the problems many small towns face today. . "You end up kind of liking the author. As Reding painstakingly presents it, the production, distribution and consumption of methamphetamine is a self-catalyzing catastrophe of Chernobylish dimensions. . This list is for the children who like getting goosebumps, who love monsters, and who are still young enough to believe in magic — and for parents who feel the same... 20% Off Essays and Memoirs by Black Authors, Cincinnati Chili, Dumplings, and Cooking With Kids. Nathan Lein, the crusading county prosecutor, is the 28-year-old son of pious farmers whos come back to Oelwein to help clean up the meth mess after obtaining degrees in philosophy, law and environmental science .

Oelwein is 230 miles south of Minneapolis, in northeastern Iowa. "—Publishers Weekly, “A thoughtful exploration of the methamphetamine epidemic in the context of small-town America. Reding delves into the lives touched by this drug in small town Iowa, but the setting could just as well be small town anywhere, as it’s truly what Sherwood Anderson’s "Winesburg, Ohio" has become. Like all good journalism, its the hand holding up the mirror, the friend telling us to take a cold, hard look at ourselves.”—Los Angeles Times, “The strength of Methland lies in its character studies. It was then, he argues, that one-time union employees earning good wages and protected by solid benefits .

2, I thought it was a good story.”.

This isnt just a small town issue or an Iowa issue. In some ways, the town is the principle character. Meth is really an excuse to see that. “This is a strong book, and it tells a complicated story in comprehensible, human dimensions. Although he regrets any errors, Reding said, "I stand behind everything in the book. Small-town residents, the story goes, are honest, hard-working, religiously observant and somehow just more American than the rest of America .

And no one, least of all Reding, who knows whats what on an intimate, human level as well as on the astral plane of globalism, can tell us where it will all end. “So bottle by bottle and container by container, he poured down the floor drain in the floor of his mother’s basement the chemicals he had stored there: anhydrous ammonia, Coleman lantern fluid, denatured alcohol and kerosene.

Among the biggest culprits in the spread of the meth epidemic, Reding argues, are the media, which, he says, have gone from obliviousness to obsession to a premature declaration of the end of the meth problem, and finally the pronouncement that there never was a meth problem in the first place . Reding relates how Lein and a few other local heroes determinedly fought back and reclaimed the town locals were calling Methlehem. Crystal methamphetamine is widely considered to be the most dangerous drug in the world, and nowhere is that more apparent than in the small towns of the American heartland.

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Receive an email when this ISBN is available used. . “That was honestly on the top of the list of the best things to come out of this book was to go to Dad and Aunt Jan’s hometown for the first time,” said Reding, who hadn’t been there since he was a lad too young to remember.

Manning another fortress against the siege is Dr. Clay Hallberg, Oelweins leading physician .

These conditions, Reding shows, have made the town susceptible to methamphetamine . Journalist Nick Reding reported this story over a period of four years, and he brings us into the heart of the town through an ensemble cast of intimately drawn characters, including: Clay Hallburg, the town doctor, who fights meth even as he struggles with his own alcoholism; Nathan Lein, the town prosecutor, whose case load is filled almost exclusively with meth-related crime, and Jeff Rohrick, who is still trying to kick a meth habit after four years. Drug courts are the opposite of the "lock 'em up and throw away the key" approach. Meth, with its opportunity for quick profit and its power to make the most abject and despondent person feel suddenly alive and vibrant, found fertile ground. We have the doctor, the prosecutor, the law enforcement officer, the child, the producer, the addict—with the distant hand of big agricultural and big pharmaceutical—but more than anything, we have the voices of people who all in their own way struggle with what life has become within the rippling effects of addiction. The rich, with their far-off, insulated lives, get richer and more detached, while the poor get high and, finally, wasted . "This is a chance for people to confront me about it if they choose to do so.". . “Meeting those two guys really changed it for me,” Reding said, “from, ‘Wow, this is a good story,’ to — I don’t like the term moral obligation, but that is what it really felt like.”. Twin Cities writer Stephanie Wilbur Ash, a freelance writer in the Twin Cities, was raised in Oelwein and graduated from high school there in 1992.

Tracing the connections between the lives touched by meth and the global forces that have set the stage for the epidemic, "Methland" offers a vital and unique perspective on a pressing contemporary tragedy.