El Chapo: The Untold Story of the World’s Most Infamous Drug Lord

Atria. Jul. 2021. 448p. ISBN 9781982133757. $30. CRIME
After covering the trial of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán for Rolling Stone magazine, Hurowitz traveled to Mexico to learn more about the notorious leader of the Sinaloa drug cartel. Using court transcripts and interviews with law enforcement, journalists, hit men, drug smugglers, and civilians, Hurowitz offers a detailed history of drug trafficking between the United States and Mexico, the cartels, and El Chapo’s rise. The author describes how in the 1990s, the drug trade faced growing pressure from Mexican authorities, which he says led to an increase in conflict and violence between the cartels. El Chapo was known for his creative methods for smuggling drugs between borders, evading capture, and escaping from prison multiple times, which Hurowitz says made him a legend in his Sinaloa community.
VERDICT Hurowitz presents a comprehensive picture of the drug trade, but the more gripping aspects of the narrative often get bogged down with the minute details and names of numerous cartel members. Still, readers looking for a deep dive into the drug trade will appreciate this detailed work.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing