Drug Wars: An Oral History from the Trenches

New York: William Morrow & Co., 1992

First serial to Playboy

"The past few years have seen a flurry of books dealing with the national drug problem; most only cover one aspect, such as trafficking, prevention, or law enforcement. In this riveting and extremely enlightening book, Wells and Triplett instead cover all areas, and quite comprehensively, weaving a complex and amazing tapestry from their interviews with those directly involved in all areas of the drug war.

 

"Dealers, recreational users, addicts, prisoners, and drug agents, among others, tell their stories, such as the addict who lost his job and wife, and said from prison, 'crack is all I got left. It's the only thing in the world that can still make me feel good.' Their gritty and eloquent words will help readers to see the drug crisis as it affects individuals, not just society in the abstract. A truly outstanding work, very highly recommended for all public and academic collections."

-Library Journal

"Junkies, dealers, narcs, and other combatants in the war on drugs speak out in this first-rate oral report from Wells  and Triplett. Aiming to get the stories of those 'most intimately engaged on the front lines,' the authors 'spent the last two years riding with undercover cops, and visiting jails, prisons, crack houses,' etc. Here, that effort pays off handsomely with some truly riveting--and dismaying--reportage, tightly arranged into eight thematic chapters, each comprised of a brief introduction and several dozen statements, some signed, some anonymous... Smooth, smart, and very, very scary."

-Kirkus Reviews

"An important update on the pervasiveness of drug addiction and drug trafficking in America. Read it!"

-The Washington Post

Flowering of the Bamboo

A Bizarre International Mystery/ A True Story

Kensington, MD: Woodbine House, 1985

"This expose of a mass murder in Tokyo will intrigue true crime buffs. In 1948, a man dressed as a health official entered a bank and, claiming to have been sent to inoculate employees against dysentery, persuaded all 16 workers to administer poison to themselves. Twelve died. That the killer was expert in the use of poisons was clear, and the trail led to former members of the Japanese army's 731 Regiment, which had conducted wartime medical experiments on POWs.

 

"The unit had been granted immunity by the U.S. military government in return for sharing its medical findings, so that lead came to a dead end, according to Triplett, a Washington, D.C., freelance journalist. Eventually Sadamichi Hirasawa, an artist, confessed to the crime, although he was innocent, claims the author. More than the story of a supposed miscarriage of justice, this dramatic book provides a look into the Japanese psyche and police work in a state emerging from feudalism and raises questions about the U.S. occupation forces in postwar Japan."

-Publishers Weekly

"Ranks among the most fiendishly planned and executed mass murders in history... Riveting."

-The Washington Post

"Triplett's fascinating book...well written and researched...should persuade most readers that the man who has spent 30 years in prison may be innocent and the U.S. government may have protected the real killer... Its horror continues to disturb."

-West Coast Review of Books

"Triplett has made good use of the research others have done on Unit 731, and has also succeeded in finding and obtaining declassification of some surviving and surprising new material in the U.S. National Archives in Washington."

-The San Francisco  Chronicle

"Spectacular contribution... the sort of real-life whodunit that qualifies as a compulsive page-turner... communicates a near-tangible evil."

-Asiaweek

"Triplett's research has provided invaluable clues to who killed the bank employees and why."

-United Press International/The Los Angeles Times

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