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Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War

by Richard Kluger (Author)



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly
The time is right for a comprehensive history of cigarettes in America and their
effect on public health and the economy. This book, passionate yet measured,
bulky but absorbing, looms as definitive. Kluger (Simple Justice) traces the
rise of the cigarette to the onset of mass production in the late 19th century.
He moves forward with cross-cutting stories, about the barons and hucksters who
developed the industry, the slow rise of medical and civic concern over smoking
and the industry's increasingly obfuscatory and combative stance. Kluger has
harsh words for government regulators, long too timid to take on a powerful
industry. And while he ultimately indicts industry leader Philip Morris, his
narrative suggests that the company, which has moved overseas and also
diversified into the food business, has been managed with supreme savvy. Kluger
concludes with an innovative policy remedy: because the tobacco companies will
inevitably lose big in court someday, why not trade a federal exemption from
lawsuits for limits on advertising, higher cigarette taxes, an end to tobacco
price supports and required reductions on tar and nicotine?

From Library Journal
Two recent releases chronicle the history of the current political status of the
controversial tobacco industry from different vantage points. Kluger's (The
Paper, LJ 10/15/87) Ashes to Ashes is riveting and highly readable despite its
length. From the Native American usage of tobacco through the lawsuits of the
1990s, Kluger follows the industry's agricultural and labor practices, technical
advances, and marketing campaigns; he also considers research on tobacco's
deleterious health effects and the tobacco control movement. Significant
personalities and events such as the invention of the cigarette-rolling machine
are featured. An extensive bibliography is provided, and a lengthy list of the
Phillip Morris executives (and ex-executives!) are interviewed. Suitable for
readers of high school age on up, this book belongs in every library. Much more
scholarly, The Cigarette Papers focuses more on one company?Brown &
Williamson?and one issue?health effects. In 1994, Glantz received an anonymous
package containing thousands of pages of internal documents from Brown &
Williamson. The author's analysis of these indicate that, public statements to
the contrary, the company did indeed know about the health and safety effects of
their products and actively sought to suppress the information. The documents,
made available by the University of California via the Internet
(http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco), are quoted extensively. Also included is
a statement by Brown & Williamson in response to the 1995 publication of some of
these data in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This work is
extemely thorough and at times makes for tedious reading. Recommended for
academic and large public libraries.


Product Details

Paperback: 832 pages
Publisher: Knopf; 1st Vintage Books Ed edition (July 29, 1997)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0375700366

 

 

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