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CORNBREAD MAFIA is the story of the biggest marijuana syndicate in American history, set in Kentucky and told in detail by James Higdon Read more

Lebanon, KY Journalism
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This project's funding goal was not reached on April 23, 2012.

CORNBREAD MAFIA is the story of the biggest marijuana syndicate in American history, set in Kentucky and told in detail by James Higdon

Lebanon, KY Journalism
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About this project

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. By doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as “The Cornbread Mafia.” 

Author James Higdon—whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration—takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. Between 1985 and 1989, the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone arrested 69 men and one woman from busts on 29 farms in 10 states, and seizing 200 tons of pot. Of the 70 individuals arrested, zero talked. The who, what, when, where, why and how of it all—a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass state, and populated by Vietnam veteran and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism—is accompanied by a soundtrack of Southern rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues. And it is told by James Higdon in action-packed, colorful, and riveting detail.

For KICKSTARTER -- Higdon is planning a book tour to visit bookstores in Kentucky, the Northeast, the deep South and beyond -- anywhere where Kickstarter donors want to hear about this great chapter of American history. 

Current tour dates include: 

KENTUCKY DATES: Carmichael's Bookstore, Louisville, 4/20; Marion County Public Library, Lebanon, KY, 4/26; Bardstown Booksellers, Bardstown, KY, 4/28 (day); Morris Bookshop, Lexington, KY, 4/28 (evening); Lincoln's Loft, Hodgenville, KY, 5/1; Barnes & Noble, Elizabethtown, KY 5/10

NORTHEAST DATES: Corner Bookstore, 93rd St. and Madison Ave, NYC, 5/15; Brookline Booksmith, Boston, MA, 5/16; Word Brooklyn in Greenpoint NYC, 5/30, more TK

SOUTHERN DATES: Square Books, Oxford, MS, 6/13; more TK

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    7 backers

    I will sign your copy of CORNBREAD MAFIA, and give you a hug if you want one.

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    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    1 backer

    For $100, you can ask me anything about the book over drinks -- but I can't buy you the drinks (Kickstarter rules, sorry)

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    0 backers

    For the $250 level, I will appear at your book club or civic organization to discuss the highs and lows of this book with your group of friends. If I cannot appear in-person, we can arrange it through Skype or conference call.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more
    About $1,000 USD

    0 backers

    For this incredibly generous contribution, I will help you organize your own book-length nonfiction project, including how to produce a book proposal that agents and editors will take seriously.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more
    About $5,000 USD

    0 backers

    Gardening tips.

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Funding period

- (45 days)