The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Persistence of the Product that Defined America
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The most amazing thing is the methods of promotion, advertising, and marketing that were invented to sell cigarettes in America. That these techniques have spread across the entire spectrum of American life is even more troubling considering their origins.
Allan Brandt provides incredible documentation and resources for the reader. The web links to the documents released to the p...more
Being a persecuted, misguided consumer myself...more
The name "Big Tobacco" took on new meaning as I read, morphing from meaning "the major tobacco companies" to "the major tobacco companies that lied and manipulated to earn millions and kill millions, turning apparent big losses into big wins." But as the meaning of Big Tobacco was fleshed out, it also shed light on the histor...more
Today, it is hard to imagine that people once considered cigarette smoking glamorous. It’s equally hard to find an adult in the U.S. who has not experienced the devastating affects of smoking, either losing a loved one or battling cancer. The rise of the cigarette left nothing untouched. As it burned through American culture, smoking changed the way industry, government, science and health organizations operate and interact. In this comprehen...more
This book covers the history of American tobacco from the 20th century into the early 21st. I learned a ton. As a nonsmoker, I was horrified to learn (since I had always taken the rules for granted) that there was a time when passengers could smoke on planes.
From Big Tobacco's creation of consent through advertising to...more
In The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall and Deadly Persistence of the Product that Defined America, Allan Brand...more
Harvard medical school professor Allan Brandt has written a history of the tobacco industry, focusing on the twentieth century and the United States. The first pages have some material relating to the earlier history of tobacco, and the final chapter is devoted to international developments, in particular the treaty on tobacco control developed by the World Health Organization. The epilogue is about his experience as an expert witness for the federal government in case against the industry.
Here is the archetypal story of one of the most evil inventions of the 20th century: Public Relations. Edwin Bernays has much to answer for, and this book provides a case study of why. The tactics invented in defense of cigarette pro...more
Smoking, throughout history, is seen as a class issue (what kinds of people smoke cigars, cigarettes, snuff, plugs, etc), and this book cronicles the efforts of the industry to control the perception of people who smoke.
Smoking cigarettes makes you unfeminine? Virginia Slims turned it into a feminist issue.
People don't smoke Lucky Strikes because the g...more
My first introduction to this book was actually for school, and I must say that I am glad this was my required reading material. The amount of information within this book makes it something of a textbook, but Dr. Brandt writes so fluently that it...more
I highly recommend Allan Brandt's "The Cigarette Century". It's extremely well-written and well-paced, and will either give you a new angle at which to look at cigarettes or reinforce the thoughts you may have had already. Great job of tracing the roots of the cigarette industry to its "high water" mark in the 1950s, and then a thorough explanation of how it managed to survive and even thrive in some respects in the past fifty years.
This is a great book for watching the power of corporate organization and advertizing.
And I don't buy the second-hand smoke claim.
just an outstanding book.