Land of Opportunity

One Family's Quest for the American Dream in the Age of Crack
William M. Adler


Part true crime, part work of urban sociology, Land of Opportunity is a meticulously researched account of the rise and fall of the Chambers brothers, who ran a multi-million-dollar crack cocaine operation in Detroit in the 1980s.   Descended from Arkansas sharecroppers, BJ, Larry, and Willie Chambers moved to Detroit seeking economic opportunity, and built a successful drug empire by applying strict business principles to their trade; their business grossed an estimated $55 million annually until the brothers were sent to prison in 1989.  Reading the Chambers brothers in the context of the fall of the Detroit auto-industry and its impact on the city’s economy and residents, Land of Opportunity demonstrates how for the Chambers brothers, crack dealing was a rational career choice; and through the Chambers brothers’ story, Adler provides bottom-up history of late Second Great Migration, deindustrialization, the War on Drugs, and crack era in both Detroit and the United States.

William M. Adler is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in EsquireRolling StoneMother Jones, and the Texas Observer. In addition to Land of Opportunity, he has written two other books of narrative nonfiction: Mollie’s Job, which follows the flight of a single factory job from the US to Mexico over the course of fifty years; and The Man Who Never Died, a biography of the labor martyr Joe Hill.  

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 394pp.
Available for sale worldwide

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  • Paper
  • 2021
  • Forthcoming
  • 978-0-472-03863-3

  • $29.95 U.S.

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