Description

A stunning investigation of the life and legend of Mexican kingpin Joaquín Archivaldo “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, building on Noah Hurowitz’s revelatory coverage for Rolling Stone of El Chapo’s federal drug-trafficking trial.

This is the true story of how El Chapo built the world’s wealthiest and most powerful drug-trafficking operation, based on months’ worth of trial testimony and dozens of interviews with cartel gunmen, Mexican journalists and political figures, Chapo’s family members, and the DEA agents who brought him down.

Over the course of three decades, El Chapo was responsible for smuggling hundreds of tons of cocaine, marijuana, heroin, meth, and fentanyl around the world, becoming in the process the most celebrated and reviled drug lord since Pablo Escobar. El Chapo waged ruthless wars against his rivals and former allies, plunging vast areas of Mexico into unprecedented levels of violence, even as many in his home state of Sinaloa continued to view him as a hero.

This unputdownable book, written by a great new talent, brings El Chapo’s exploits into a focus that previous profiles have failed to capture. Hurowitz digs in deep beyond the legends and delves into El Chapo’s life and legacy—not just the hunt for him, revealing some of the most dramatic and often horrifying moments of his notorious career, including the infamous prison escapes, brutal murders, multi-million-dollar government payoffs, and the paranoia and narcissism that led to his downfall. From the evolution of organized crime in Mexico to the militarization of the drug war to the devastation wrought on both sides of the border by the introduction of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, this book is a gripping and comprehensive work of investigative, on-the-ground reporting.

About the author(s)

Noah Hurowitz is a journalist based in New York City. He covered the trial of El Chapo for Rolling Stone, and his work has also appeared in The Village Voice, The Baffler, New York magazine, and many more. El Chapo is his first book. 

Reviews

“El Chapo tears through the myth of Mexico's most infamous mobster and reveals the flesh and blood of the living man, the vibrant if cutthroat mountain culture he hailed from and the failed war on drugs that made him.” —Ioan Grillo, author of El Narco and Blood Gun Money

“El Chapo tears through the myth of Mexico's most infamous mobster and reveals the flesh and blood of the living man, the vibrant if cutthroat mountain culture he hailed from and the failed war on drugs that made him.” —Ioan Grillo, author of El Narco and Blood Gun Money

El Chapo is the best book you’re going to read on the rise and fall of the 21st century’s most notorious narco. It’s a fast-paced journey through the landscape and history of the bloody war on drugs in Mexico. The war on drugs may have failed for most of us, but as Hurowitz points out, it’s working out very nicely for those who profit from it, including the narcos themselves who make their fortunes in the black market. Pick up this book and get smarter on the drugs business.” —Toby Muse, Kilo: Inside the Deadliest Cocaine Cartels from the Jungles to the Streets

“Hurowitz fleshes out the harrowing details of Mexico’s drug violence and high-level corruption, and draws on interviews with former cartel insiders to document El Chapo’s staggering ambitions and deep-seated paranoia…. [The author’s] access to players on both sides of the drug war impresses.” —Publishers Weekly

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