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About Evan Wright
Evan Wright is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards for reporting. He was called America's "ambassador to the underbelly" for his immersion reporting of subcultures ranging from those of gangbangers, to porn stars to anarchists.
He spent weeks in combat as the sole embedded reporter with a Marine recon unit in Iraq and wrote Generation Kill based on that experience. The Marine Corps recognized Generation Kill with the General Greene Award as the "Best History" of the Corps. Wright adapted his book into the Emmy-winning mini-series for HBO.
Wright's Vanity Fair story about a Hollywood agent run amuck on meth, sex addiction and ideological fervor is featured in Hella Nation. He wrote American Desperado with convicted cocaine smuggler Jon Roberts, and profiled an allegedly-murderous CIA officer with ties to the White House in How to Get Away with Murder in America.
In Bad Therapist Wright exposes the world of a cultish, celebrity-studded Malibu drug rehab being run as a criminal front for insurance fraud and sex abuse. He is currently at work on a memoir about brainwashing. Wright studied medieval history at Vassar College.
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Within hours of 9/11, America’s war on terrorism fell to those like the twenty-three Marines of the First Recon Battalion, the first generation dispatched into open-ended combat since Vietnam. They were a new pop-culture breed of American warrior unrecognizable to their forebears—soldiers raised on hip hop, video games and The Real World. Cocky, brave, headstrong, wary and mostly unprepared for the physical, emotional and moral horrors ahead, the “First Suicide Battalion” would spearhead the blitzkrieg on Iraq, and fight against the hardest resistance Saddam had to offer.
Hailed as “one of the best books to come out of the Iraq war”(Financial Times), Generation Kill is the funny, frightening, and profane firsthand account of these remarkable men, of the personal toll of victory, and of the randomness, brutality and camaraderie of a new American War.
American Desperado is Roberts’ no-holds-barred account of being born into Mafia royalty, witnessing his first murder at the age of seven, becoming a hunter-assassin in Vietnam, returning to New York to become--at age 22--one of the city’s leading nightclub impresarios, then journeying to Miami where in a few short years he would rise to become the Medellin Cartel’s most effective smuggler.
But that’s just half the tale.
The roster of Roberts’ friends and acquaintances reads like a Who’s Who of the latter half of the 20th century and includes everyone from Jimi Hendrix, Richard Pryor, and O.J. Simpson to Carlo Gambino, Meyer Lansky, and Manuel Noriega.
Nothing if not colorful, Roberts surrounded himself with beautiful women, drove his souped-up street car at a top speed of 180 miles per hour, shared his bed with a 200-pound cougar, and employed a 6”6” professional wrestler called “The Thing” as his bodyguard. Ultimately, Roberts became so powerful that he attracted the attention of the Republican Party’s leadership, was wooed by them, and even was co-opted by the CIA for which he carried out its secret agenda.
Scrupulously documented and relentlessly propulsive, this collaboration between a bloodhound journalist and one of the most audacious criminals ever is like no other crime book you’ve ever read.
In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” the celebrated journalist Evan Wright reveals the extraordinary story of Enrique “Ricky” Prado, an alleged killer for a major Miami drug trafficker who was recruited into the CIA. Despite a grand jury subpoena and a mountain of evidence unearthed by a federal task force, Prado was promoted into the agency’s highest echelons and charged with implementing some of the country’s most sensitive post-9/11 counterterrorist operations, including the agency’s secret “targeted assassination unit.” All while staying in close touch with his cocaine-trafficking boss and, evidence suggests, taking part in additional killings for him.
After Prado retired in 2004 at the rank of SIS-2—the CIA equivalent of a two-star general—he moved to a senior position at Blackwater, the private military contractor, where he continued to run the same, now-outsourced “death squad.” Contrary to government assurances that it was never actually activated, Wright reveals explosive testimony from one of the Blackwater assassins that Prado’s unit was indeed carrying out assigned killings. As a former military intelligence officer told Wright in 2011, “Private contractors are whacking people like crazy over in Afghanistan for the CIA.”
In “How to Get Away with Murder in America,” Wright discloses never-before-seen federal investigation files and lays out a mind-boggling and ultimately damning indictment of Ricky Prado and the intelligence community that embraced and empowered him. It is the deeply disturbing story of a criminal case abandoned because of CIA intervention, political maneuvering, and possibly corruption. Its cast includes Mafia capos, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former CNN host Rick Sanchez, and Prado’s longtime boss at the CIA and then Blackwater, J. Cofer Black, who is now a “special adviser” to presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Wright also delivers a stunning portrait of Prado’s childhood friend Albert San Pedro, a.k.a. “the Maniac,” the drug lord whom he served for years as loyal bodyguard and enforcer, as well as their longtime nemesis Mike Fisten, the detective who began pursuing them more than two decades ago and still hopes to put them both in prison for murder.
“How to Get Away with Murder in America” will shake to the core your conceptions of government and justice in America.
The New York Times bestselling author of Generation Kill immerses himself in even more cultures on the edge.
Evan Wright's affinity for outsiders has inspired this deeply personal journey through what he calls "the lost tribes of America." A collection of previously published pieces, Hella Nation delivers provocative accounts of sex workers in Porn Valley, a Hollywood über-agent-turned-war documentarian and hero of America's far right, runaway teens earning corporate dollars as skateboard pitchmen, radical anarchists plotting the overthrow of corporate America, and young American troops on the hunt for terrorists in the combat zones of the Middle East
Inside the biggest scandal in the history of America’s $40 billion drug recovery industry: a predatory Malibu rehab guru—and the fearless female patient who exposed his empire of deceit.
Chris Bathum was a respected therapist, addiction specialist, and founder of one of the fastest-growing rehabilitation chains in America. But Bathum was a total fraud: he was a meth-head with a history of sexually abusing his patients, scamming insurance companies, and eliminating whistle-blowers. Like Rose Stahl. But this intended victim would be his last. Stahl would risk her life to bring down the monster she and so many other people in need had once trusted for their salvation.
Evan Wright’s Bad Therapist is part of Exposure, a collection of six incredible and true stories of American double lives from millionaire CEOs and suburban teens to undercover investigators and scam artists—all for whom secrets are a way of life. Each piece can be read or listened to in a single astonished sitting.