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Book Rec: Among the Bros by Max Marshall

A young investigative journalist traces a murder and a multi-million-dollar drug ring, leading to an unprecedented look at elite American fraternity life. You have to read Among the Bros to believe it.


Content Warning: The details revealed in this book can be triggering and offensive. This book contains racist, offensive and hateful language, as well as flagrant drug use. The book discusses suicidal thoughts and sexual assault. Please proceed with caution.


Book Summary of Among the Bros

book jacket with a frat boy in black and white wearing a bright pink polo with popped collar

When Max Marshall arrived on the campus of the College of Charleston in 2018, he hoped to investigate a small-time fraternity Xanax trafficking ring. Instead, he found a homicide, several student deaths, and millions of dollars circulating around the Deep South. He also opened up an elite world hidden to outsiders. Behind the pop culture cliches of “Greek life” lies one of the major breeding grounds of American power: 80% of Fortune 500 executives, 85% of Supreme Court justices, and all but four presidents since 1825 have been fraternity members. With unprecedented immersion, this book takes readers inside that bubble.


Under the live oaks and Spanish moss of Travel + Leisure’s “Most Beautiful Campus in America,” Marshall traces several “C of C” boys’ journeys from fraternity pledges to interstate drug traffickers. The result is a true-life story of hubris, status, money, drugs, and murder—one that lifts a curtain on an ecstatic and disturbing way of life. With expert pacing and a cool eye, he follows a never-ending party that continues after funerals and mass arrests.


An addictive and haunting portrait of tomorrow’s American establishment, Among the Bros is a disturbing look at American’s fraternities and the underground network they establish.


Discussion Guide

  1. I actually hated Among the Bros book. It’s told by a fellow frat bro and doesn’t seem to go far enough to vehemently denounce the actions of these men. Max Marshall said he “just wanted to hold a mirror up to it.” Do you think the book brings the issues to light or helps justify their actions?

  2. This book is a tale of privilege – a life without consequences. Joining a fraternity means having a safe place to behave badly. For the most part, these men had little life-altering consequences. How can society reform fraternity life and its embedded culture?

  3. Do you think anyone received justice? Do you think the legal penalties imposed were enough?


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