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In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia. Author James Higdon--whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration--takes readers back to the 1970s and '80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism. Accompanied by a soundtrack of rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, this work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.
About the Author
JAMES HIGDON has worked for the Louisville Courier Journal, the New York Times, and PBS Frontline's Tehran Bureau; contributed material to The Prairie Home Companion; and researched the NYPD for the police drama series NYC-22. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky.