| The definitive history of the cigarette, the product that shaped twentieth-century America--from modern advertising to science, from regulatory politics to our sense of glamour and style. |
The industrial manufacture of cigarettes began in the late nineteenth century, but it wasn't until the invention of the modern consumer, advertising campaign--pioneered by cigarette brands--that the product really took off at the turn of the century. The cigarette became an indispensable accessory of glamour and sex appeal: from Marlene Dietrich to Humphrey Bogart to Anne Bancroft, we have imagined stars with cigarettes in their mouths, and imitated them.
The cigarette--the ultimate icon of our consumer culture--serves as a vehicle for historian Allan Brandt to explore critical aspects of American life. From agriculture to big business, from medicine to politics, The Cigarette Century shows how smoking came to be so deeply implicated in our culture, science, policy, and law. In this magisterial book, Brandt demonstrates how the cigarette reflects the most powerful debates of our time about risk, responsibility, and human health. The Cigarette Century reaches across many disciplines to form a broad and compelling synthesis, showing how one humble (and largely useless) product came to play such a dominant role in our lives and deaths.