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The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco
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The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  11 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
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. ...more
Hardcover, 296 pages
Published September 28th 2006 by Temple University Press (first published January 1st 2006)
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JZ Temple
Aug 10, 2007 JZ Temple rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people looking for a casual history of a more unusual subject
Shelves: history
This book is a casual but interesting social history of tobacco consumption, starting off with the ancient Mayans and the discovery and explotation of the plant and it's products by Europeans and later settlers in the New World. The book is primarily focused on the United States use of tobacco. The author's emphasis is mainly on the people and institutions involved with tobacco use or in the attempt to suppress it. While it's not quite a lighthearted look, it is definitely less than serious. It ...more
Dennis
Jul 03, 2011 Dennis rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book about the history of tobacco use and its impact on the history of the United States. I particularly enjoyed the sections about King James I and Sir Walter Raleigh. Fun read. I am moving on to another similar book by the same author, "the Spirits of America" about the history of alcohol.
Mike Prochot
Jan 02, 2013 Mike Prochot rated it really liked it
Shelves: tobbacciana
Interesting, entertaining and very informative history of tobacco. How it came to be, how it has been used; from religious and medicinal purposes, to currency, to cancer causing pariah.

Makes me like my cigars even more!
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Eric Burns is an American media critic and journalist. He began his career as a correspondent for NBC News where he appeared regularly on NBC Nightly News and on the Today show.

Burns has written five critically-acclaimed books and continues to work in television. He has worked as a commentator for Entertainment Tonight, host of Arts & Entertainment Revue on A&E, and is the former host of F
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