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Celebrating the Life

Tobacco: The Story of How Tobacco Seduced the World

[Longhorn Review] Tobacco: The Story of How Tobacco Seduced the World

Material Type: All, books — Tags: history, sociology, tobacco — Posted on November 10, 2008, 2:41 pm

By: Gately, Iain

I’m not one for conspiracy theories but this was a fascinating book. I never
would have thought that tobacco growing and selling played such an important part of
our history. One factoid tells the tale: when Benjamin Franklin was sent to London
to negotiate a peace treaty between Great Britain and the future United States he
was also given the task of negotiating the loans George Washington and Thomas
Jefferson owned to merchants in England on their tobacco holdings. This book is
essentially about how drawing smoke from a plant grew from a ceremonial activity in
the new world to a social activity that spread around the world. It is now hard to
find a culture where tobacco smoking is not evident. The subtitle tells it all – “a
cultural history of how an exotic plant seduced civilization.” The story is
fascinating and the book is very well written.

Reviewer: Susan Ardis

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