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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Pleasure and Panic

New Essays on the History of Alcohol and Drugs

Offers a range of perspectives on the debate about liberalizing drug and alcohol laws.

Booze, dope, smokes, and weed. Mind-altering, mood-changing substances have been part of human society for millennia. The history of drugs and alcohol is infused with what we understand as their proper and improper use. Pleasure and Panic reveals how cultural fears and social, political, and economic disparities have always been deeply embedded in attitudes about drugs and alcohol. Long before John Lennon testified at Canada’s Le Dain Commission in favor of marijuana decriminalization, social movements existed to challenge the view that consumption of mind-altering substances, especially by young people, posed a danger to society. The contributors to this collection explore how drugs and alcohol intersect with diverse histories, including gender, medicine, popular culture, and business.

280 pages | 3 tables | 6 x 9

History: General History

Political Science: Public Policy


Pleasure and Panic is a lively and consistently interesting set of essays illustrating the best that is being done today in the alcohol and drug history field."

Ian Tyrrell, co-editor of Alcohol and Temperance in Modern History

Table of Contents

Introduction: Problems with Pleasures / Dan Malleck
Part 1: People under the Influence
1 The Transgressive Woman: Gender, Class, Alcohol and Drugs in Canada from 1850 / Cheryl Krasnick Warsh
2 “To Find Out the Best Men and to Try to Get Them In”: Women, Temperance and Politics in Manchester 1873–1919 / Cynthia Belaskie
3 Youth, Drugs, and Surveillance at Manseau’s Woodstock Pop Festival / Eric Fillio
4 John Lennon, the LeDain Commission and the Rise of the Celebrity Activist / Greg Marquis
Part 2: Medicine under the Influence
5 Manhood, Drink, and the “Medical Heresy” of U.S. Army Surgeon James Mann (1812–1816) / Renée Lafferty-Salhany
6 Medicinal Purposes: Pharmacists, Professionalism, and Liquor Laws in Victorian Ontario / Dan Malleck
7 A New Perspective on Harm Reduction: George Peters and the Chicago LSD Rescue Service / Christian Elcock
Part 3: Business under the Influence
8 Flogging a Dead Horse? Adulteration and Brewing in Nineteenth-Century England / Jonathan Reinarz
9 Charlie Wing and the Alberta Liquor Control Board: The Story of the First Chinese-Canadian Hotel Licensee in Post-Prohibition Alberta / Sarah Hamill
10 The Rise of the "Big Three": The Emergence of a Canadian Brewing Oligopoly, 1945–1962 / Mathew J. Bellamy

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