First published in 1711, Brazil at the Dawn of the Eighteenth Century describes the four major economic activities of the Brazilian colony. Half the book is devoted to the sugar industry and the social world of those who grew the sugarcane. Other sections give a detailed view of the tobacco industry. Further, this work describes where and how gold was extracted, the new and old routes connecting Minas Gerais with the coast, and the rough-and-tumble world of the miners. Antonil concludes with discussion of the economic importance of cattle, and information on Brazilian exports and taxes. No other work provides this level of eyewitness detail.
The story of tobacco’s fortunes seems simple: science triumphed over addiction and profit. Yet the reality is more complicated—and more political. Historically it was not just bad habits but also the state that lifted the tobacco industry. What brought about change was not medical advice but organized pressure: a movement for nonsmoker’s rights.
First published in 1940 and long out of print, Fernando Ortiz’s classic work, Cuban Counterpoint is recognized as one of the most important books of Latin American and Caribbean intellectual history. Ortiz’s examination of the impact of sugar and tobacco on Cuban society is unquestionably the cornerstone of Cuban studies and a key source for work on Caribbean culture generally. Though written over fifty years ago, Ortiz’s study of the formation of a national culture in this region has significant implications for contemporary postcolonial studies. Ortiz presents his understanding of Cuban history in two complementary sections written in contrasting styles: a playful allegorical tale narrated as a counterpoint between tobacco and sugar and a historical analysis of their development as the central agricultural products of the Cuban economy. Treating tobacco and sugar both as agricultural commodities and as social characters in a historical process, he examines changes in their roles as the result of transculturation. His work shows how transculturation, a critical category Ortiz developed to grasp the complex transformation of cultures brought together in the crucible of colonial and imperial histories, can be used to illuminate not only the history of Cuba, but, more generally, that of America as well. This new edition includes an introductory essay by Fernando Coronil that provides a contrapuntal reading of the relationship between Ortiz’s book and its original introduction by the renowned anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. Arguing for a distinction between theory production and canon formation, Coronil demonstrates the value of Ortiz’s book for anthropology as well as Cuban, Caribbean, and Latin American studies, and shows Ortiz to be newly relevant to contemporary debates about modernity, postmodernism, and postcoloniality.
Honey with Tobacco
Peg Boyers University of Chicago Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS3602.O94H66 2007 | Dewey Decimal 811.54
This time the migraine came with a vision
bathed in night sweat:
I was sitting on the Eames chair,
your man’s body on my lap, legs
and arms white as casein draped over
mine, spilling onto the cassock, new sores
on your legs, dried blood
on your feet and hands,
from your chalk mouth
the words forgive me,
from mine, the impossible no
Hard Bread,Peg Boyers’s debut poetry collection, with verse spoken in the imagined voice of the Italian writer Natalia Ginzburg, was widely praised for its inspired ventriloquism and its brilliant lyricism. In Honey with Tobacco, Boyers’s own intensely personal voice emerges in three strikingly distinctive variants. The first part of the book is the most explicitly autobiographical, bringing together poems that explore the poet’s Cuban American experience and a childhood marked by travel, the tropics, and varieties of disenchantment. The middle sequence of poems concerns a mother, a father, and a son, a postmodern holy family whose ordeals are evoked in a terse, terrifying narrative. In familiar tableaux drawn from the Bible that have inspired great works of art—the Annunciation, the Pieta, and Judgment Day—Boyers explores what it means in contemporary America to be “blessed among women” and whether and how art can contain grief. The final section of the book confronts age, desire, and regret in a series of personal poems that plumb baser human instincts and the speakers’ determination to dwell in darkness, when necessary, without abandoning the sacred.
Praise for Hard Bread:
“A great achievement of poetic voice . . . . It’s absolutely clear what these poems are ‘about,’ and they are unapologetic in their devotion to subject, clarity, precision, and accessibility.”—Steven Cramer, Poetry
Most studies of Puerto Rico’s relations with the United States have focused on the sugar industry, recounting a tale of victimization and imperial abuse driven by the interests of U.S. sugar companies. But inPuerto Ricans in the Empire, Teresita A. Levy looks at a different agricultural sector, tobacco growing, and tells a story in which Puerto Ricans challenged U.S. officials and fought successfully for legislation that benefited the island.
Levy describes how small-scale, politically involved, independent landowners grew most of the tobacco in Puerto Rico. She shows how, to gain access to political power, tobacco farmers joined local agricultural leagues and the leading farmers’ association, the Asociación de Agricultores Puertorriqueños (AAP). Through their affiliation with the AAP, they successfully lobbied U.S. administrators in San Juan and Washington, participated in government-sponsored agricultural programs, solicited agricultural credit from governmental sources, and sought scientific education in a variety of public programs, all to boost their share of the tobacco-leaf market in the United States. By their own efforts, Levy argues, Puerto Ricans demanded and won inclusion in the empire, in terms that were defined not only by the colonial power, but also by the colonized.
The relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States was undoubtedly colonial in nature, but, as Puerto Ricans in the Empire shows, it was not unilateral. It was a dynamic, elastic, and ever-changing interaction, where Puerto Ricans actively participated in the economic and political processes of a negotiated empire.
"Fox News Watch" host Eric Burns, who chronicled the social history of alcohol in The Spirits of America turns to tobacco in The Smoke of the Gods. Ranging from ancient times to the present day, The Smoke of the Gods is a lively history of tobacco, especially in the United States. Although tobacco use is controversial in the U.S. today, Burns reminds us that this was not always the case. For centuries tobacco was generally thought to have medicinal and even spiritual value. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence were tobacco users or growers, or both. According to Burns, tobacco changed the very course of U.S. history, because its discovery caused the British to support Jamestown, its struggling New World colony. An entertaining and informative look at a subject that makes daily news headlines, The Smoke of the Gods is a history that is, well, quite addictive.
The 1966 edition of the leading medical textbook states that pregnant women can safely smoke half a pack of cigarettes a day. Yet today, women who smoke during pregnancy are among the most vilified figures in public health campaigns. Laury Oaks argues this shift is not due solely to medical findings indicating that cigarette smoking may harm the fetus. Also responsible are a variety of social factors that converged more than a decade ago to construct the demonized category of the “pregnant smoker.”
This book charts the emergence of smoking during pregnancy as a public health concern and social problem. Oaks looks at the emphasis public health educators place on individual responsibility, the current legal and social assertion of fetal personhood, the changing expectations of pregnant and prepregnant women, and the advent of antismoking campaigns. She explores how public health educators discuss “the problem” with one another, how they communicate with pregnant smokers, and how these women themselves understand the “risk” of fetal harm. Finally, Oaks discusses the various meanings of “objective” statistics on the effects of smoking on the fetus, exploring the significance of cultural context in assessing the relative importance of those numbers. She argues that rather than bombarding pregnant women with statistics, health educators should consider the daily lives of these women and their socioeconomic status to understand why some women choose to smoke during pregnancy. Without downplaying the seriousness of the health risks that smoking poses to women and their babies, the book supports new efforts that challenge the moral policing of pregnant smokers.
"The topic, how tort law evolved over time into a system that allowed, for a moment at least, a parens patriae form of massive litigation against corporations, is exceedingly interesting and important. Gifford's treatment of this topic is highly informative, engaging, insightful, very current, and wise."
---David Owen, Carolina Distinguished Professor of Law, and Director of Tort Law Studies, University of South Carolina
In Suing the Tobacco and Lead Pigment Industries, legal scholar Donald G. Gifford recounts the transformation of tort litigation in response to the challenge posed by victims of 21st-century public health crises who seek compensation from the product manufacturers. Class action litigation promised a strategy for documenting collective harm, but an increasingly conservative judicial and political climate limited this strategy. Then, in 1995, Mississippi attorney general Mike Moore initiated a parens patriae action on behalf of the state against cigarette manufacturers. Forty-five other states soon filed public product liability actions, seeking both compensation for the funds spent on public health crises and the regulation of harmful products.
Gifford finds that courts, through their refusal to expand traditional tort claims, have resisted litigation as a solution to product-caused public health problems. Even if the government were to prevail, the remedy in such litigation is unlikely to be effective. Gifford warns, furthermore, that by shifting the powers to regulate products and to remediate public health problems from the legislature to the state attorney general, parens patriae litigation raises concerns about the appropriate allocation of powers among the branches of government.
Donald G. Gifford is the Edward M. Robertson Research Professor of Law at the University of Maryland School of Law.
From Chicago's Al Capone to Waco's David Koresh, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms has taken on America's most ruthless criminals and single-minded fanatics. In Very Special Agents, a longtime ATF veteran delivers the first full disclosure of the bureau's controversial exploits.
When James Moore joined the ATF at Newark, New Jersey, in 1960, it was an arm of the Internal Revenue Service with one job: to catch the Mafia bootleggers whose Prohibition-style distilleries each cheated Uncle Sam of $20,000 a day in tax revenue. During his twenty-five years of service, Moore saw the ATF shift into the enforcement of gun laws, be reborn as a separate bureau, and take on the bombings and arson cases that most officers of the law wrote off as impossible to solve.
From heartstopping undercover sting operations to explosive face-to-face confrontations with mobsters, murderers, bombers, gang members, and terrorists, Very Special Agents takes the reader to the heart of the action. Moore's personal, from-the-hip history of the ATF spans the long-running war against Mafia dons and drug dealers and agents' daring infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan, Hell's Angels, and other groups that advocate violence and bloodshed. He covers the cutting edge forensics work that helped crack the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings, and he provides an insider account of the raid on the Branch Davidians at Waco, Texas. Moore also discusses the ATF's rivalry with the FBI and the bureaucratic hairsplitting and political power games that, in his view, impede the government's ability to short-circuit crime.