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Demons: Our changing attitudes to alcohol, tobacco, and drugs Hardcover – 28 Nov 2013
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Her work is both fascinating for the casual reader and challenging for those who want a deeper understanding of substance abuse, its history and its context (Druglink Magazine, Ian Wardle)
[A] thought provoking history (Judith Flanders, The Sunday Telegraph)
Entertaining (Sean O'Grady, The Independent)
About the Author
Virginia Berridge is Professor of History and Director of the Centre for History in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London. She has published widely on the history of illicit drugs, smoking, and alcohol and has worked in both historical and non-historical settings.
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My main criticism is the author's exaggerated detachment from these hotly debated issues, which can be infuriating. For instance, she fails to find fault with the British Empire waging war on China in order to force the Chinese to buy the opium produced in India. Where critical opinions are widely held, e.g. on the US prohibition, she cautions against them. And she doesn’t even mention how many young lives are ruined by incarceration for drug possession. Also, as she apparently has no opinions on any of the controversial issues surrounding current drugs policies, she doesn't offer a way out of the mess either.
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