David Simon—before 'The Wire,' in 1997


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Twenty years ago, journalist David Simon, author of the book that inspired the TV show Homicide—and later the creator of HBO’s acclaimed The Wire, among many others—joined me for a discussion of the then-new book he’d co-authored, The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood.

Simon’s time spent on an urban corner in Baltimore had persuaded him then that the war on drugs was a failure—that the concept of “lockin’ ’em up” was a losing battle that served only to further isolate neighborhoods where the vast majority of residents are victims of drugs.

What’s old is new again. Here’s the interview with David Simon as broadcast Nov. 30, 1997, on the late WNUA-FM in Chicago.
(Photo: Simon in 2004 at the Peabody Awards.)

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