Ep. 250: Chris Arnade on Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America/Sam Quinones on Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic

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By Chauncey DeVega. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

There are two guests on this week's special 250th episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show.

Chris Arnade is a photographer and contributing writer for the New York Times, Atlantic, Guardian, Washington Post, Financial Times, and Wall Street Journal. His new book is Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America.

Arnade reflects on leaving his job as a stock trader on Wall Street and embarking on a quest across America during the rise of Trump in an effort to see just how broken American society is and was. Arnade also shares how his walks across New York City and taking pictures of everyday people -- the working class, the poor, people without homes, hustlers, immigrants, migrants, and others -- impacted his understanding of life and human dignity and became the basis of his new book Dignity: Seeking Respect in Back Row America. Arnade also reflects on the power of listening and how in many ways the poor and homeless are more honorable and good than the rich and the powerful.

Investigative journalist and author Sam Quinones is the second guest on this week's show.

He is a journalist, storyteller, and former LA Times reporter. Quinones' most recent book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Dreamland won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2015.

Quinones explains how Big Pharma and their opiates took over huge swaths of Trumplandia and other parts of the United States through "pain management" -- and then enterprising Mexican drug kingpins were able to leverage that opportunity to import huge amounts of heroin into the country. Quinones also explains what he learned from meeting one of the most important figures in the U.S.-Mexico heroin trade and if Donald Trump's wall will do anything to stem the tide of drugs (and addiction) in America.

Chauncey DeVega reflects on America in a time of moral inversion when white supremacists and other right-wing street hooligans and paramilitaries can march openly in American cities such as Portland and it is the anti-fascists who are somehow labeled as "terrorists".

Chauncey is deeply worried that tens of millions of Americans no longer know right from wrong in the Age of Trump. And Chauncey also shares some little-known history about the true origins of the Statue of Liberty and how African-Americans struggling against Jim and Jane Crow understood the statue to be an affront and insult.

At the end of this week's special 250th episode of the podcast Chauncey shares an exciting story about the newly discovered bones of a 5-foot-tall prehistoric penguin.

SELECTED LINKS OF INTEREST FOR THIS EPISODE OF THE CHAUNCEY DEVEGA SHOW

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Music at the end of this week's episode of The Chauncey DeVega Show is by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. You can listen to some of their great music on Spotify.

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