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The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Social History of Drugs

Richard Davenport-Hines

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Prose: non-fiction, History, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000

'The most important study on this subject in years, perhaps ever' Phillip Knightley, SUNDAY TIMES

A history of drug-taking, telling the story across five centuries of addicts and users: monarchs, prime ministers, great writers and composers, wounded soldiers, overworked physicians, oppressed housewives, exhausted labourers, high-powered businessmen, playboys, sex workers, pop stars, seedy losers, stressed adolescents, defiant schoolchildren, the victims of the ghetto, and happy young people on a spree.

It is also the history of one bad idea, prohibition.

'You'll find almost everything you ever wanted to know about drugs in this work, except how to get hold of them'

Simon Garfield, FINANCIAL TIMES

'Everyone with any influence on government policy should read this book and wake up before it is too late'

Phillip Knightley, SUNDAY TIMES

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