The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics
author: Richard Davenport-Hines
average rating: 3.80
book published: 2001
read at: 2011/06/30
date added: 2011/07/03
This is an extremely thorough and long history book, and it has a lot of the characteristics of a stereotypical and traditional history book, including that it can be super slow reading and long-winded.
However, the flip side of that is that the book is very complete. It turns out to be also infuriating, because the history of narcotics is the history of puritan prohibitionists using the most misguided strategies to stop use of these substances, and this has been going on for at least a century now with nothing good coming of it. In fact the book details many points over the last hundred years in which government drug policy has made things much much worse.