Not many people go from being raised as an orthodox Jew to becoming an international drug smuggler. Hank Cooper, a Canadian who grew up in Toronto, traveled that path. After becoming an adult (chronologically, at least), in the nineteen seventies and eighties, Hank lived anything but what his parents would have called a normal life during his 20s and early 30s. Maybe it had something to do with his orthodox Jewish upbringing, but then again it probably was a combination of a million other things, especially luck, which he discusses in his memoir, Smuggling with Jesus.
Smuggling with Jesus is appearing at the right time: Drug smuggling and drug use – and their consequences – hit the headlines almost daily, a Mexican drug lord was recently apprehended, and the nineteen seventies and eighties are now almost ancient history ready to be described to a new generation. Hank’s potential audience includes his baby boomer contemporaries who might be thinking, “There but for the grace of God go I,” millennials who won’t be able to believe Hank’s transactions took place without the assistance of electronic devices, psychologists who will scratch their heads as they wonder what made Hank and Bernie tick, parents who breathed a sigh of relief when their children climbed into adulthood unscathed, and just about anyone who appreciates a good story told with humor and sympathy. Hank’s outgoing personality makes him a natural for bookstore signings and media appearances.