Ioan Grillo, Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels, in conversation with Sam Quinones


Ioan Grillo, author of Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels will be in conversation with author Sam Quinones. Purchase their books below.

"An eye-opening and riveting account of how guns make it into the black market and into the hands of criminals and drug lords." -Adam Winkler 

The gun control debate is revived with every mass shooting. But far more people die from gun deaths on the street corners of inner city America and across the border as Mexico's powerful cartels battle to control the drug trade. Guns and drugs aren't often connected in our heated discussions of gun control-but they should be. In Ioan Grillo's groundbreaking new work of investigative journalism, he shows us this connection by following the market for guns in the Americas and how it has made the continent the most murderous on earth. 

Grillo travels to gun manufacturers, strolls the aisles of gun shows and gun shops, talks to FBI agents who have infiltrated biker gangs, hangs out on Baltimore street corners, and visits the ATF gun tracing center in West Virginia. Along the way, he details the many ways that legal guns can cross over into the black market and into the hands of criminals, fueling violence here and south of the border. Simple legislative measures would help close these loopholes, but America's powerful gun lobby is uncompromising in its defense of the hallowed Second Amendment. Perhaps, however, if guns were seen not as symbols of freedom, but as key accessories in our epidemics of addiction, the conversation would shift. Blood Gun Money is that conversation shifter.

Ioan Grillo is a contributing writer at the New York Times specializing in crime and drugs. Based in Mexico City, he has also worked for Time magazine, the History Channel, CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, and Esquire. He is the author of El Narco, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and Gangster Warlords, a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and a Guardian Book of the Year.


"Ioan Grillo is one of the best reporters covering the cartels, crime and carnage south of the border. In Blood Gun Money, he traces the drug-gun pipeline that runs straight from that violence to the beating heart of America. It's even weirder and bloodier than the fiction." --Don Winslow, author of THE CARTEL and THE BORDER

"An alarming and deeply reported account of how the U.S. gun trade fuels bloodshed, terror, and refugee crises throughout the Western hemisphere . . . This expert account makes the high cost of America's thirst for guns crystal clear." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A globe-trotting investigation into the symbiotic worlds of the gun trade and organized crime, mostly involving drugs-one terrifying, amazing, illuminating story after another, and characters who dismay, chill, awe and sometimes even inspire. Reaching the end of this utterly absorbing journey, you'll feel like you've learned secrets and truths of the tragic lethal mayhem of the world, of its intractable causes and complexities." -- Francisco Goldman, author of THE ART OF POLITICAL MURDER

"Combines academic rigor with street smarts to take us on a journey around the globe to meet obscure firearm manufacturers, hitmen pulling the trigger, and the many people on the receiving end of gunfire. In painstaking detail, Grillo lays out the evidence and history we need to understand how the United States became the center of the global iron river of firearms, and how the consequences of gun violence reach all of us." -- Jorge Valencia, The World

Event date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
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Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635572780
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Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - February 23rd, 2021

Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781620403792
Availability: Special Order - Price and Availability Subject to Change
Published: Bloomsbury Press - January 19th, 2016

El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency Cover Image
ISBN: 9781608194018
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Published: Bloomsbury Press - November 13th, 2012

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781620402528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Press - April 5th, 2016

Dreamland (YA edition): The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781547601318
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Published: Bloomsbury YA - July 16th, 2019

Antonio's Gun and Delfino's Dream: True Tales of Mexican Migration Cover Image
ISBN: 9780826342553
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: University of New Mexico Press - February 1st, 2008