Forces of Habit by David T. Courtwright
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Forces of Habit
By David T. Courtwright

Forces of Habit

Drugs and the Making of the Modern World

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Format: Paperback

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Forces of Habit by David T. Courtwright

Book Description

Why are coffee, tobacco, and marijuana available the world over, but not peyote or qat? Why are alcohol and tobacco legal, but not heroin or cocaine? What drives the drug, and how has it come to be what it is today - a vast, chequered pattern of use and abuse, medicine and recreation, commerce and interdiction? A global history of the acquisition of progressively more potent means of altering ordinary waking consciousness, this book provides the big picture of the discovery, interchange, and exploitation of the planet's psychoactive resources, from tea and kola to opiates and amphetamines. Offering a social and biological account of why psychoactive goods proved so seductive, David Courtwright tracks the intersecting paths by which popular drugs entered the stream of global commerce. He shows how the efforts of merchants and colonial planters expanded world supply, drove down prices, and drew millions of less affluent purchasers into the market, effectively democratizing drug consumption. He also shows how Europeans used alcohol as an inducement for native peoples to trade their furs, sell captives into slavery, and negotiate away their lands, and how monarchs taxed drugs to finance their wars and expanding empires. This text explains why such profitable exploitation has increasingly given way, over the last hundred years, to policies of restriction and prohibition - and how economic and cultural considerations have shaped those policies to determine which drugs are readily accessible, which strictly medicinal, and which forbidden altogether.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674010031
ISBN-10: 0674010035
Format: Paperback
(235mm x 155mm x 17mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 8-Nov-2002
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author David T. Courtwright

No Right Turn by David T. Courtwright No Right Turn, Hardback (October 2010)

Offering an overview of a half century of American politics, this book looks at the counterrevolutionary dreams of liberalism's enemies - to overturn people's reliance on expanding government, reverse the moral and sexual revolutions, and win the Culture War - and finds them largely unfulfilled.

Sky as Frontier by David T. Courtwright Sky as Frontier, Paperback (November 2004)

Aviation's frontier stage lasted a scant three decades, then vanished as flying became a settled experience. Sky as Frontier shows how commercial and military imperatives destroyed this pioneer world by routinizing flight.

Dark Paradise by David T. Courtwright Dark Paradise, Paperback (July 2001)

This edition offers an interpretation of a puzzling chapter in American social and medical history: the dramatic change in the pattern of opiate addiction-from respectable upper-class matrons to lower-class urban males, often with a criminal record.

Violent Land by David T. Courtwright Violent Land, Paperback (March 1998)

This work offers a diagnosis of the violence in American society - why it is so prevalent, and what and who are responible. The author takes a long view of his subject, developing the historical pattern of violence and disorder.

» View all books by David T. Courtwright


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Author Biography - David T. Courtwright

David T. Courtwright is John A. Delaney Presidential Professor at the University of North Florida.

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Recent books by David T. Courtwright close
No Right Turn by David T. Courtwright
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