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Produced By Aaron Ferguson

Jan 22, 2020

0:00 - 1:55:   Intro 

1:55 - 3:40 :  Thank you to Patreon Subscribers! 

3:40 - 42:13:  Regular Interview 

Bonus Content -- To hear a conversation about Ben's book, "Original Gangsters" go to Patreon.com/thesocialexchange and become a sustaining member for $2.00 or more) 

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Today's guest Ben Westhoff.

Westhoff is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about culture, drugs, and poverty. His books are taught around the country and have been translated into languages all over the world. 

His new book is Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic. It has received glowing reviews and was included on many year-end best lists. Westhoff was interviewed about the book for Fresh Air and Joe Rogan, and published an excerpt in The Atlantic. Since the book’s publication, Westhoff has advised top government officials on the fentanyl crisis, including from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the U.S. embassy in Beijing, and the U.S. State Department. 

His previous book Original Gangstas: Tupac Shakur, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and the Birth of West Coast Rap is one of the best-selling hip-hop books of all time. It received raves from Rolling Stone and People, and a starred review in Kirkus. S. Leigh Savidge, Academy Award nominee and co-writer of Straight Outta Compton said it "may be the best book ever written about the hip hop world."

Westhoff's work has appeared in the Library of Congress, The Atlantic, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, NPRRolling StoneForbes, PlayboyViceOxford AmericanPitchfork, and others. He's been honored by the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Entertainment Journalism Awards, Religion Newswriters Association, Best Music WritingBest of Southern Food Writing, L.A. Press Club, and the Missouri Press Association. 

Today, Ben and I discussed the themes of his new book, but we spent much more time discussing his journalistic process along the way. This process proved, to me, to be just as interesting as the book itself. I hope you'll agree. 

Enjoy episode 49! 

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