In Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World (Cambridge, Mass., 2001), David Courtwright argued that a number of highly popular intoxicants (caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, opium, coca/cocaine, and cannabis) in combination with an emerging and gradually accelerating global trade triggered a “psychoactive revolution” in the early modern era. “Psychoactive revolution” may well be the most influential single phrase ever put to paper in the historiography of drugs, elegantly summing up how six intoxicants had become so important to the modern world, and why states eventually declared “war” on half of them. Forces of Habit was also unusual for being a creditable drug history, footnotes and all, written for a popular audience by a historian who already had a pedigree for serious, fine-grained research on drugs. Although Courtwright was not the first drug scholar to recognize the significance of the early modern era (Schivelbusch preceded him), he certainly...
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March 01 2021
Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs; The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade
Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs. By
Oxford University Press,
352 pp. $29.95
The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade. By
University of Pennsylvania Press,
304 pp. $34.95
University of Cincinnati
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University of Cincinnati
Online ISSN: 1530-9169
Print ISSN: 0022-1953
© 2021 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, Inc.
The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (2021) 51 (4): 625–628.
Isaac Campos; Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs; The Age of Intoxication: Origins of the Global Drug Trade. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 51 (4): 625–628. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01632
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