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Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

Blakeslee, Nate

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9781586484545: Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

In the summer of 1999, in the tiny west Texas town of Tulia, thirty-nine people, almost all of them black, were arrested and charged with dealing powdered cocaine. The operation, a federally-funded investigation performed in cooperation with the local authorities, was based on the work of one notoriously unreliable undercover officer. At trial, the prosecution relied almost solely on the uncorroborated, and contradictory, testimony of that officer, Tom Coleman. Despite the flimsiness of the evidence against them, virtually all of the defendants were convicted and given sentences as high as ninety-nine years. Tom Coleman was named a Texas Lawman of the Year for his work.

Tulia is the story of this town, the bust, the trials, and the heroic legal battle that ultimately led to the reversal of the convictions in the summer of 2003. Laws have been changed in Texas as a result of the scandal, and the defendants have earned a measure of bittersweet redemption. But the story is much bigger than the tale of just one bust. As Tulia makes clear, these events are the latest chapter in a story with themes as old as the country itself. It is a gripping, marvelously well-told tale about injustice, race, poverty, hysteria, and desperation in rural America.

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About the Author:

Nate Blakeslee, a former editor of the Texas Observer, broke the Tulia story for the Observer in 2000. It was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. In 2004, he won the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award for his drug war reporting. Blakeslee's work has also appeared in Texas Monthly and The Nation. He is a Soros Justice Media Fellow. Born and raised in Texas, he lives in Austin.

From AudioFile:

Have you got 14 hours to listen to an audiobook about small-town corruption? If not, then make time. In this spellbinding, riveting, and exceedingly detailed work, Nate Blakeslee tells the stranger-than-fiction story of how one corrupt Texas cop managed to set in motion a juggernaut that put one-fifth of the adult black population of a small town behind bars, some defendants for as long as 90 years. James Boles provides a homespun reading, replete with West Texas accents, giving the book the necessary color and adding to the compelling drama. This is as good as it gets for nonfiction audio. R.W.S. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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Book Description PublicAffairs, 2006. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: In the summer of 1999, in the tiny west Texas town of Tulia, thirty-nine people, almost all of them black, were arrested and charged with dealing powdered cocaine. The operation, a federally-funded investigation performed in cooperation with the local authorities, was based on the work of one notoriously unreliable undercover officer. At trial, the prosecution relied almost solely on the uncorroborated and contradictory testimony of that officer, Tom Coleman. Despite the filmsiness of the evidence against them, virtually all of the defendants were convicted and given sentences as high as ninety-nine years. Tom Coleman was named a Texas Lawman of the Year for his work. Tulia is the story of this town, the bust, the trials and the heroic legal battle that ultimately led to the reversal of the convictions in the summer of 2003. Laws have been changed in Texas as a result of the scandal, and the defendants have earned a measure of bittersweet redemption. But the story is much bigger than the tale of just one bust. As Tulia makes clear, these events are the latest chapter in a story with themes as old as the country itself. It is a gripping, marvellously well-told tale about injustice, race, poverty, hysteria and desperation in rural America. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1586484540

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