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Library to host 'Cornbread Mafia' author

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"Cornbread Mafia" author James Higdon will come to Taylor County Public Library on Friday, Aug. 10, at 5 p.m. for a question and answer session and book signing.

The book details a homegrown syndicate's code of silence and the biggest marijuana bust in American history.

In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In 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, known as the Cornbread Mafia.

Higdon’s relationship with Boone, who is currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Barack Obama administration. Higdon takes readers back to the 1970s and 1980s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines.

By 1989, the task force assigned to take down men like Boone had arrested 69 men and a woman from busts on 29 farms in 10 states and seized 200 tons of marijuana. Of the 70 people arrested, none talked. How it all happened is a tale of mafia-style storylines emanating from Kentucky and populated by Vietnam veterans and marijuana-loving characters caught up in a Tarantino-level violence and heart-breaking altruism.

Higdon has worked for the Courier Journal in Louisville and the New York Times, contributed to The Prairie Home Companion, researched the NYPD counter-terrorism and intelligence divisions and is currently a contributing editor with PBS Frontline's Tehran Bureau.

The son of state Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, he lives in Lebanon and Brooklyn, New York.

Tickets are required to attend the event. As of Tuesday, July 31, however, there were no more tickets available.

For more information, call 465-2562.