Golden Holocaust: Origins of the Cigarette Catastrophe and the Case for Abolition

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“The great cause of global health is in Robert Proctor’s debt. Golden Holocaust is a model of impassioned scholarly research and advocacy. As Proctor so powerfully demonstrates, the time has come to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the massive disease, debility, and death that they produce around the world.”--Allan M. Brandt, author of The Cigarette Century

"Robert Proctor unpacks the sad history of an industrial fraud. His tightly reasoned exploration touches on all topics on which the tobacco makers lied repeatedly to Congress and the public."--Don Kennedy, President Emeritus, Stanford University and former Editor, Science

"This book is a remarkable compendium of evil. It will keep you spinning from page one through the last with a detailed description of how one of the most notorious industries in American history deceived and manipulated the public, the politicians, and the scientific community into allowing an age-old toxin to be breathed directly into the lungs of millions of Americans. It is the type of book that makes you wonder how, in God’s name, this could have happened?"-David Rosner, author of Deceit and Denial

"Proctor powerfully documents how a small number of tobacco companies caused a tragic, global epidemic. His account of this history and of the 'lessons learned' is relevant to the ongoing effort to end the tobacco epidemic and to efforts to control emerging pandemics of non-communicable diseases." --Jonathan M. Samet, M.D., M.S., Director, Institute for Global Health, University of Southern California

“Proctor weaves together the public historical record with inside details and insights from thousands of once secret industry documents. Anyone who cares about health, deception, science or politics will learn something new from this book.”-Stanton A. Glantz, Professor of Medicine, UC San Francisco, and author of The Cigarette Papers

"A powerful indictment of the world's deadliest industry"-John R. Seffrin, PhD, Chief Executive Officer, American Cancer Society

"By carefully analyzing formerly secret industry documents, Proctor has shown how cigarette manufacturers knew that the "filters" on virtually all cigarettes sold today are utterly fraudulent. His call for a ban is likely to change how we think about such devices; this excellent book is a must read for tobacco control and environmental activists alike."--Thomas E. Novotny, MD MPH, Former US Assistant Surgeon General and CEO, Cigarette Butt Pollution Project.

"Scholarly yet eminently readable, indeed gripping, this book asks us to consider what the end game for tobacco might look like. A must-read for policy makers and public health officials, and for anyone struggling against the tobacco industry in the field."--Professor Judith Mackay, Senior Advisor, World Lung Foundation, Hong Kong, China SAR"

"The machine-rolled cigarette is the single most deadly consumer product ever made. Proctor's powerful, witty, and wide-ranging book shows how we came to accept as normal the promotion and use of products that have caused a global epidemic of disease and death. But more importantly, he outlines a way to end this grim chapter in human history."--Ruth E. Malone, RN, PhD, FAAN, Editor, Tobacco Control

“This is the most important book on smoking in fifty years. Proctor’s unique mix of scholarship, readability, wit and political understanding tells a no-holds-barred story with conclusions that governments cannot afford to ignore. It will change the course of public health history.”--Professor Mike Daube, President, Australian Council on Smoking and Health

"Proctor draws masterfully from a vast archive of documents wrested from the industry, including many never before discussed, and mounts an unforgettable case about what the tobacco industry has done and what we must do about it. This is the book to help us understand what we must do to save lives."--Peter Galison, author of Einstein's Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps

"Golden Holocaust will stand indelibly as a landmark in the field of medicine and the history of science. It is a monument of committed scholarship and cool passion, making brilliant use of the new technics of data-mining to reveal a terrible calculus, while giving the lie to claims that advocacy must be the enemy of objectivity. Lives, far too many lives, depend on what this book contains."--Iain Boal, Birkbeck College, London and Guggenheim Fellow in Science and Technology

"Robert Proctor draws an unvarnished conclusion: that the tobacco industry, and the men who led it, were evil, plain and simple. They knowingly sold a product that, when used as intended, killed people. And then they conspired to suppress the evidence. Not everyone will agree with Proctor, but anyone interested in the intertwined issues of science and health, and culture and commerce, needs to read this book."--Naomi Oreskes, coauthor of Merchants of Doubt

“Robert Proctor lays bare the deliberate choices made by the tobacco companies to addict their customers and cause premature death. Here is clarity to the unprecedented scientific fraud perpetrated by the tobacco industry.”--William A. Farone, Ph.D. Chairman, Applied Power Concepts, Inc. (formerly Director of Scientific Research for Philip Morris USA, 1977-1984).

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Editorial Reviews

Harper's Magazine

“Draws on previously confidential industry documents and Proctor’s own experience as the first historian to testify in court about [industry] lies. What lies? How deep into the pleural linings did they go? All the way.”
Mother Jones

“Lays out in head-shaking detail how a handful of companies painstakingly designed, produced, and mass-marketed the most lethal product on the planet.”

“[A] monumental and sobering indictment.”
Science (AAAS)

“Proctor documents a breadth and depth of the industry’s duplicitous actions that is astounding.”
Harper's - Joshua Cohen

“A nearly 800-page book that begins as the Bible of the twentieth-century cigarette industry only to end as its millennial counterblaste.”
The Huffington Post

“Proctor challenges his readers to conceptualize a much happier and healthier world in which the manufacture and sale of cigarettes is prohibited.”
Toronto Globe & Mail

“A landmark study in medicine and the history of science, and of an industry [Proctor] describes as ‘evil.’”
Global Public Health - Katherine E. Kenny Sociology/Science Studies

“Proctor’s extensive use of previously secret tobacco industry documents makes his case convincing, even compelling.”
Jrnl Of American History - Karen Miller Russell

“An invaluable reference for historians interested in the tobacco industry, health and medicine, or marketing in the twentieth century.”
Bulletin Of The History Of Medicine - Barron H. Lerner

“A comprehensive and devastating account of tobacco industry perfidy in promoting the sale of its deadly cigarettes.”
American Historical Review - Carol Benedict

“A historian’s testimony on his own terms. . . . Entertaining and hard-hitting.”
American Journal Of Epidemiology

“A passionate work and not for the faint of heart.”
Chronicle Of Higher Education

“Engaging, inexhaustible with information, and driven.”

“[A] monumental and sobering indictment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520270169
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 752
  • Sales rank: 437,749
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 2.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert N. Proctor is Professor of the History of Science at Stanford University and author of Cancer Wars, Racial Hygiene, and The Nazi War on Cancer He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Prologue 1

Introduction: Who Knew What and When? 13

Part 1 The triumph of the Cigarette 25

1 The Flue-Curing Revolution 31

2 Matches and Mechanization 36

3 War Likes Tobacco, Tobacco Likes War 44

4 Taxation: The Second Addiction 49

5 Marketing Genius Unleashed 56

6 Sponsoring Sports to Sell Smoke 88

7 Parties, the Arts, and Extreme Expeditions 118

8 Clouding the Web: Tobacco 2.0 134

Part 2 Discovering the Cancer Hazard 145

9 Early Experimental Carcinogenesis 149

10 . Roffo's Foray and the Nazi Response 155

11 . "Sold American": Tobacco-Friendly Research at the Medical College of Virginia 171

12 A Most Feared Document: Claude E. Teague's 1953 "Survey of Cancer Research" 191

13 "Silent Collaborators": Clandestine Cancer Research Financed by Tobacco via the Damon Runyon Fund 200

14 Ecusta's Experiments 210

15 Consensus, Hubris, and Duplicity 224

Part 3 Conspiracy on a Grand Scale 253

16 The Council for Tobacco Research: Distraction Research, Decoy Research, Filibuster Research 257

17 Agnotology in Action 289

18 Measuring Ignorance: The Impact of Industry Disinformation on Popular Knowledge of Tobacco Hazards 305

19 Filter Flimflam 340

20 The Grand Fraud of Ventilation 357

21 Crack Nicotine: Freebasing to Augment a Cigarettes "Kick" 390

22 The "Light Cigarette" Scam 406

23 Penetrating the Universities 418

24 Historians Join the Conspiracy 459

Part 4 Radiant Filth and Redemption 483

25 What's Actually in Your Cigarette? 489

26 Radioactivity in Cigarette Smoke: "Three Mile Marlboro" and the Sleeping Giant 306

27 The Odd Business of Butts-and the Global Warming Wild Card 513

28 "Safer" Cigarettes? 529

29 Globalizing Death 539

30 What Must Be Done 549

Notes 563

Selected Bibliography 667

Lexicon of Tobacco Industry Jargon 681

Timeline of Global Tobacco Mergers and Acquisitions 691

Timeline of Tobacco Industry Diversification into Candy, Food, Alcohol, and Other Products 697

Acknowledgments 699

Index 703

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    That the industry is Evil is obvious, but to read the details of

    That the industry is Evil is obvious, but to read the details of their crimes against humanity only makes the addicted victims look stupid. Please ignore reviewers who use the word "retarded" and fit that category themselves. The author was brilliant on CSPAN this weekend, and if you heard him talk you would want to read his book. I know of at least 6 relatives who died early because they smoked. This book just might convince other people to try to escape the nicotine prison built by the sickness industry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013


    It was the stupidest cocer i have ever seen. I am never gonna read this retarded book. I would give it 0 stars if i could. (Or burn it)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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