Saturday, November 12, 2011


AMERICAN DESPERADO by journalist Evan Wright is the chronicle of "Cocaine Cowboy" Jon Roberts, the man most responsible for the transport of the drug into America during the Medellin Cartel's heydays in the 1980s.  Besides being a smuggler, Roberts was also an assassin during the Vietnam War, and was then recruited by a Republican Congressman and the CIA to fly guns to rebels into Nicaragua.  Roberts, an admitted sociopath without feelings, also displays classic signs of the psychopath, including a need to brag about and exaggerate his exploits.  Wright attempts to verify the conversations he had with Roberts, with only partial success.  So we are left to believe the account or not.  Certainly Roberts is evil, repeatedly saying how evil is "stronger than good"(a motto learned from his father, who coldly killed a man in front of him as a child to show him "the way.")  But oddly, while trying to convince us he's one of the worst human beings to ever live, (witness his murder of children, skinning people alive, firebombing houses, not to mention the relish he takes in describing how best to disable a victim quickly by cracking a knee and stabbing an eye), he occasionally claims to regret his choices, hoping his son doesn't become like him.  This is certainly one of the most disturbing books ever written.  Tour guides into Roberts' heart of darkness include Erik Davies, Mark Deakins, and Christina Rooney, among others, all of whom enhance the text with appropriate seriousness or flippancy of tone, showing how morally clueless a sociopath is, and also how dangerous to those who underestimate him for his charm.

1 comment:

  1. This guy should work for Wal Mart or Bank of America.