Review Essay: Deviant Globalization

Posted on June 14, 2011


Nick Reding follows the misfortunes of Ottumwa, Iowa from its’ demise as a meat-processing hub to the center of the midwest’s crank empire. “The Inland Empire” returns back to journalistic prose to cover the rise of the methamphetimines epidemic and in particular middle America’s most prolific meth drug kingpin, Lori Arnold. A mis-directed youth and young adult drifting in and out of schools and marriages, Ms. Arnold first tested the market with a new narcotic, methamphetamines after experiencing her first high given to her by her husband’s brother. After having her first taste and quickly selling out of a test batch at a local bar, she quickly amassed $50,000 in over six short months. From there, Ms. Arnold bought car dealerships and horse farms in order to facilitate the development of her narcotics distribution network; she would launder money through her legitimate business and use those networks to manufacture, distribute, and retail crank. By the time federal law enforcement officials arrested Ms. Arnold and busted up her crank empire, she was actually considered a respectable business woman by the town’s folk of Ottumwa bringing in jobs that were lost when the meat-processing businesses left town.