Alcoholism, Race, and Decolonization

In the June 1958 issue of the Nchanga Drum, Dominico Chansa, a social welfare worker on the Northern Rhodesian (Zambian) Copperbelt, asked readers the question, “Is Beer Drinking a Good or Bad Habit?”  The author claimed that there was “no subject on the Copperbelt today which draws more heated debate”—a surprising yet surprisingly accurate assertion. Continue reading “Alcoholism, Race, and Decolonization”

Teaching a Drugs and Germs Course (At Last I Join You All!)

In the fall of 2010 I designed and taught a graduate course called Drugs and Germs in Global History and Empire. The course began in the period just before the European voyages of exploration and ended in the late twentieth century. It followed drugs across oceans and borders from when they became important commodities in the emergingContinue reading “Teaching a Drugs and Germs Course (At Last I Join You All!)”

Abusive Treatment: Drug Prohibition and the Erosion of the Doctor/Patient Relationship

In her third guest post for Points, pain relief activist Siobhan Reynolds traces the unraveling of the doctor-(pain)patient relationship under drug prohibition. Perhaps the most disturbing consequence of opium prohibition, and the one least talked about in polite company, is the steady degradation of the doctor/patient relationship that has occurred since prohibition’s inception. In poor countries,Continue reading “Abusive Treatment: Drug Prohibition and the Erosion of the Doctor/Patient Relationship”

The Points Interview: Burton Peretti

Today’s installment of the Points Interview is the ninth of the series and, as ever, we’re grateful to find so many authors willing to discuss their work in this forum.  That’s certainly true of entry #9–Burton Peretti, talking about his book Nightclub City: Politics and Amusement in Manhattan (paperback edition, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011).Continue reading “The Points Interview: Burton Peretti”

Drinking Like a Guy? Women and Alcohol, Then and Now

I suppose it’s an occupational hazard, but I find myself surprised when I hear women today—many of whom are self-declared feminists—remark that of course female alcoholics are different.  I am brought up short by the straightforward, un-self-conscious way in which this pronouncement is made by friends and colleagues who are social scientists and clinicians.  IContinue reading “Drinking Like a Guy? Women and Alcohol, Then and Now”

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