Original Source Interviews: George Jung, ‘Freeway’ Ricky Ross, Gary Webb, Dr Milton Friedman

Finally I’ve had time to start uploading interviews. The first four – George Jung, Ricky Ross, Gary Webb and Milton Friedman, are now available in their entirety under ‘Source Material’.

I’ll be interested to see if anyone actually wants to read them (some interviews are 20 or more pages long). It seems a great shame to me that writers and journalists spend hours and hours interviewing people, then use a quote or two and throw away – or lose – the rest. I suspect that a lot of this stuff might be of interest to researchers somewhere down the line, as well as to ordinary readers who want to learn more about people they’ve heard about.  Quite apart from the fact that some of the interviewees have since passed away, it’s always more informative to read the sources talking in their own words: Ricky Ross on how he transformed the crack cocaine scene in South Central LA is gripping, I think. Gary Webb – who first aired allegations that the CIA had looked the other way while cocaine shipments were moved into the US – is almost entirely convincing. His story becomes all the more poignant when we learn what happened next: Webb committed suicide not long after I interviewed him.

More interviews are to come – possibly lots more, if anyone wants them. If there really is interest, I’ll think about posting the original recordings of the interviews so you can hear the questions and the answers. If you have any particular source interviews you would like to read, drop me a line and I’ll try and fast-track them.

Please note, however: it took me hundreds and hundreds of hours to arrange, conduct, and type up these interviews. Do feel free to read them and use them for research. But if you want to copy them or quote from them, I’d appreciate advance warning – and a citation in whatever you’re writing.

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