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Christine Schwartz HartleyAdams offers rich historical context, cultural perspective, anecdotes and pointed observations, for instance, that for turn-of-the-century British bohemians, ''coming to terms with absinthe was as much a part of becoming an artist as finding a studio.'' He finds no reason to believe, as is often claimed, that the ''green fairy'' sparked the radical new art of heavy drinkers like Verlaine, Rimbaud, van Gogh, Gauguin, Wilde and Strindberg. Still, as absinthe's recent European comeback demonstrates, the promise of rare new altered states remains. This book is as titillating as it is sobering.
— The New York Times