In this very interesting, readable, and informative book, historian Elaine Carey sets out to explore the role of women in organized crime. She wonders why, if women predominate in the informal labor market and economy in general, they are missing from accounts of drug trafficking in the Americas. Her answer is that this is more of an oversight than a representation of reality: since the passage of the Harrison Narcotics Tax Act in 1914, which marked the beginning of the contemporary war on drugs, women have played key and sometimes central roles, not just as addicts and mules but also as bosses and entrepreneurs. In fact, one of her main arguments is that because women are responsible for ensuring the well-being of their families, they forge communal networks and market systems that allow them to survive and remain active in the drug...

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