Hazardous To Your Health

The Surgeon General Makes His Case

The year 1964 marked the last time that anyone in America relaxed with a cigarette. The date, to be exact, was January 10, 1964. On the next day Surgeon General Luther L. Terry released his advisory panel’s report on smoking and health. After that, people could still smoke, of course, but never again in the hazy delusion that cigarettes were harmless.

The connection between smoking and disease had been noted early on.Read more »

The Secret Life Of A Developing Country (Ours)

Forget your conventional picture of America in 1810. In the first half of the nineteenth century, we were not at all the placid, straitlaced, white-picket-fence nation we imagine ourselves to have been. By looing at the patterns of everyday life as recorded by contemporary foreign and native observers of the young republic and by asking the questions that historians don't think to ask of another time—what were people really like? how did they greet one another in the street? how did they occupy their leisure time? what did they eat?—Jakc Larking brings us a portrait of another Americna, an America that was so different from both our conception of its past life and its present-day reality as to seem a foreign country.

WE LOOKED DIFFERENT Read more »

Puffing Through The American Past

Within a century after Columbus and his crew first encountered Cuban natives “with a firebrand in the hand and herbs to drink the smoke thereof,” much of Western civilization had taken to tobacco in all its forms—an addiction brought back to the New World in which the sotweed had been discovered. Tobacco was colonial America’s chief export and it remains— pace the Surgeon General—a steadily expanding, multibillion-dollar industry.Read more »

The Harrisons Of Berkeley Hundred

Five successive Benjamin Harrisons created a private empire of tobacco and trade and a great Virginia plantation

 

Berkeley Hundred, as a working plantation still in operation after more than three centuries, is older than any English-speaking settlement in America outside Virginia. In fact, a Thanksgiving was celebrated on its river front and an experiment made there with corn whiskey before the Puritans, setting sail in one of the boats bound for Virginia, were blown off their course and landed in New England.

 
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