• Title: Tobacco in History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (2 Volume set)
  • Author: Jordan Goodman
  • Released: 2004-08-19
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 700
  • ISBN: 0684314053
  • ISBN13: 978-0684314051
  • ASIN: 0684314053
From The antitobacco litigation of the 1990s, culminating in the $206 billion Master Settlement Agreement, led to a lull during which this encyclopedia could be produced without fear of its being immediately overtaken by events. The editor has used the opportunity to good advantage. Tobacco in History and Culture contains 136 articles addressing every important aspect of the tobacco phenomenon and the controversies spawned by the revelations of the past several decades, most notably those relating to health risks and to the tobacco companies' awareness of those risks, long before the public was made aware of them. At this point, with the companies concentrating on foreign markets, this work will become outdated only in regard to the inevitable upward revisions of projected tobacco-related deaths in those markets--which include underdeveloped countries, where medical facilities are least capable of dealing with the results of tobacco use.

Entry length ranges from just over a page for Black Patch War (an early-twentieth-century conflict between Kentucky tobacco growers and the American Tobacco Company) and Opium to more than 10 pages for Disease and mortality and prohibitions. Each entry concludes with a bibliography, and numerous terms are defined in page margins. Other features of the set include 250 well-chosen and well-reproduced black-and-white illustrations and, in both volumes, a section of color plates. Sidebars contribute additional facts and perspective.

What readers will not see is any primary source material, such as the tobacco company documents laying out marketing strategies and ways in which products could be made more addictive. The liability trials are covered only in general terms, subsumed under the broad category Litigation, and documents released during the trials are discussed primarily as documents, with little being said about specific contents. Still, this is an important foundational work, for which researchers can easily find supplemental sources that provide more detail. This first volume in the new Scribner Turning Points Library line is recommended for high-school, academic, and public libraries. Harold Cordry
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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