Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the Nineteenth Century

Overview

The text of Emperors of Dreams has been revised, updated and with new material added. It paints a fresh and startling picture both of today's illicit drugs and of the nineteenth century in general.

It is a fascinating book... Jay is excellent is on the emergence of medical science as a social force.
W.N.Herbert in Scotland on Sunday

As well as exploding the fantasy that a society without drugs used to exist, ...

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Emperors of Dreams: Drugs in the 19th c

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Overview

The text of Emperors of Dreams has been revised, updated and with new material added. It paints a fresh and startling picture both of today's illicit drugs and of the nineteenth century in general.

It is a fascinating book... Jay is excellent is on the emergence of medical science as a social force.
W.N.Herbert in Scotland on Sunday

As well as exploding the fantasy that a society without drugs used to exist, Jay clarifies the question of why so many of them were outlawed...in the process, he tells a series of fascinating stories about the first individuals to describe their effects, and how their use spread.
Peter Carty in Time Out

Intelligent, witty, cogent and a bit pissed off, Emperors of Dreams is one of the best books on drugs I have come across, and should be mandatory reading for anyone concerned with drug legalisation.
Julian Keeling in The New Statesman

The changing status of the coca leaf is one of the many stories told by Mike Jay in his engaging survey of drug use in the 19th century.... Fear of pleasure, as Jay shows in this splendid book, is perhaps the most powerful motive in the hysterical anti-drug rhetoric that has created the mess we are in today.
Joan Smith in The Independent on Sunday

Meticulously researched, compulsively readable and unfailingly fascinating...more than just an inebriating travelogue of days gone by, Jay's book is important in its even-handed, dispassionate and intelligent discussion of such incendiary topics as decriminalisation and legalisation. His closing chapter on temperance and prohibition is perhaps the most level-headed prose ever written on the subject.
Gary Lachman in The Fortean Times

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...excellent..." -- Pick of the Week by Nicholas Lezard in The Guardian
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781907650185
  • Publisher: Daedalus Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 9/9/2012
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,383,385
  • Product dimensions: 4.90 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Jay is the author of Blue Tide: The Search for Soma (1999), an investigation into the use of sacred plant drugs in Indo-European prehistory. He is also the editor of Artificial Paradises (1999), an illustrated anthology of drug literature, and the co-editor of 1900 (1999), a collection of fin-de-si├Ęcle writings on evolution, decadence, atheism, the unconscious, feminism, sexology and futurism. He has written on the social history of drugs for various publications including The Guardian, The Independent, Arena, Fortean Times and the International Journal of Drug Policy.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 9
1 "Oh! Excellent Air Bag": Nitrous Oxide 14
2 The Black Drop: Opium 51
3 The Seraphim Theatre: Cannabis 88
4 Attack of the Vapours: Ether 124
5 "Watson - The Needle!": Cocaine 147
6 A New Artificial Paradise: Mescaline 185
7 Ardent Spirits: Temperance and Prohibition 221
App: Selected Texts 246
Bibliography 266
Index 273
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