The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana.pdf
“With its unmistakable ring of truth , The Last Pirate strips away the self-serving blarney about big-time pot smuggling of the seventies and eighties to tell the sad but compelling story of a sociopath who, with a notable lack of self awareness, wrecks his family and his own life to fulfill his delusions of grandeur. In reporting on and coming to terms with his father’s colorful and destructive past, Tony Dokoupil has added remarkably to the nonfiction literature of the drug business.”
- Bruce Porter, author of Blow: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost it All
“The Last Pirate is crazy brilliant. Both hysterically funny and irresistibly disturbing, I could not stop reading it. The TV show Weeds is a nursery rhyme compared to the real-life grit, danger, and devastation of this family’s story. But it wasn't only the mayhem that I loved. Tony Dokoupil also shows us how a son can forgive and accept a father who really doesn’t make it easy.”
- David Sheff, author of Beautiful Boy
Tony Dokoupil is a Senior Writer for NBC News. He holds a masters degree in American Studies from Columbia University, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and children.
In the tradition of Blow and Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, The Last Pirate is a vivid, haunting and often hilarious memoir recounting the life of Big Tony, a family man who joined the biggest pot ring of the Reagan era and exploded his life in the process. Three decades later, his son came back to put together the pieces.
As he relates his father’s rise from hey-man hippie dealer to multi-ton smuggler extraordinaire, Tony Dokoupil tells a larger history of marijuana and untangles the controversies still stirring furious debate today. He blends superb reportage with searing personal memories, presenting a deep chronicle of pot-smoking, drug-taking America from the perspective of the generation that grew up in the aftermath of the Great Stoned Age. Everyone knew a drug dealer back then. The Last Pirate is the story of what happened to one of them, to his family, and in a pharmacological sense to us all.
It’s a cultural portrait of marijuana’s endless allure, set against the Technicolor backdrop of South Florida in the era of Miami Vice. It’s a public saga complete with a real pirate’s booty: more than a million dollars lost, buried or stolen. But it’s also a deeply personal pursuit, the product of a son’s determination to replant the family tree in richer soil.