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Killer High: A History of War in Six Drugs

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  8 reviews
There is growing alarm over how drugs increasingly empower terrorists, insurgents, traffickers, and gangs. But by looking back not just years and decades but centuries, Peter Andreas reveals that the drugs-conflict nexus is actually an old story, and that powerful states have been its biggest beneficiaries.

In his path-breaking Killer High, Andreas shows how six psychoactiv
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published January 2nd 2020 by Oxford University Press, USA
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Paul moved to LibraryThing
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dry and competent. The way I like my non-fiction.
Scott Martin
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
(3.5 stars). This work looked at human history, especially war and law enforcement, through the prism of a series of drugs/substances. Discussing the impact of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opium/heroin, cocaine and amphetamines, the author notes the history, the first uses by people, and how each was used in and/or drove conflict. Depending on the drug/substance in question, different parts of the world at different times in history reacted differently. However, all of the substances still have m ...more
Alexander Anderson
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
An average rating, nothing more.

An entertaining survey of the topic.

Not much to add to the superficial knowledge any well-read history buff doesn't already possess.

The last chspter in the book, a speculative one, is one of the most interesting chapters in the book.and has the sunstance to expand into a book itself.

But worth a read for some unfamiliar details.

Leaves the reader craving something more substantial, written by an author with a little more depth & talent.
Mark Broadhead
Feb 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Informative, but strangely quite boring, considering the topics.
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book will integrate nicely into my History & Globalization of the Drug Trade class. The chapter on amphetamines would be an interesting read for a general world history class when studying WWII.
May 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
See my review at Reading World ...more
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was interesting and introduced a new side to several wars that I have never considered.
It was a bit speculative, but ultimately entertaining.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The book is a survey of the interaction between drugs and war throughout history, focusing on alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, opium, amphetamines and cocaine. Some sections are more “readable” than others, that is, more narrative than encyclopedic. Lots of fun facts and a good overview for a general audience or people interested in this specific topic. Lots of focus on World War II, the Opium Wars and the war on drugs in Mexico. Overall I enjoyed this title!
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Peter Andreas is a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He was previously an Academy Scholar at Harvard University, a Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and an SSRC-MacArthur Foundation Fellow on International Peace and Security. Andreas has written numerous books, published widely in scholarly journals ...more

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4 likes · 3 comments
“I dedicate this book to Kristen, who somehow managed to handle me and our two rambunctious girls without resorting to either drugs or war.” 0 likes
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