Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug

Andean Cocaine: The Making of a Global Drug

by Paul Gootenberg

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Illuminating a hidden and fascinating chapter in the history of globalization, Paul Gootenberg chronicles the rise of one of the most spectacular and now illegal Latin American exports: cocaine.

Gootenberg traces cocaine's history from its origins as a medical commodity in the nineteenth century to its repression during the early twentieth century and its dramatic reemergence as an illicit good after World War II. Connecting the story of the drug's transformations is a host of people, products, and processes: Sigmund Freud, Coca-Cola, and Pablo Escobar all make appearances, exemplifying the global influences that have shaped the history of cocaine. But Gootenberg decenters the familiar story to uncover the roles played by hitherto obscure but vital Andean actors as well--for example, the Peruvian pharmacist who developed the techniques for refining cocaine on an industrial scale and the creators of the original drug-smuggling networks that decades later would be taken over by Colombian traffickers.

Andean Cocaine proves indispensable to understanding one of the most vexing social dilemmas of the late twentieth-century Americas: the American cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and, in its wake, the seemingly endless U.S. drug war in the Andes.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807887790
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 06/01/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 464
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Paul Gootenberg is professor of history at Stony Brook University in New York and author or editor of four other books, including Between Silver and Guano: Commercial Policies and the State in Postindependence Peru.

Table of Contents


Chronology: Cocaine, 1850-2000
Introduction: Cocaine as Andean History

Part I: Cocaine Rising
1 Imagining Coca, Discovering Cocaine, 1850-1890
2 Making a National Commodity: Peruvian Crude Cocaine, 1885-1910

Part II: Cocaine Falling
3 Cocaine Enchained: Global Commodity Circuits, 1890s-1930s
4 Withering Cocaine: Peruvian Responses, 1910-1945
5 Anticocaine: From Reluctance to Global Prohibitions, 1910-1950

Part III: Illicit Cocaine
6 Birth of the Narcos: Pan-American Illicit Networks, 1945-1965
7 The Drug Boom (1965-1975) and Beyond

Appendix: Quantifying Cocaine
Table A.1. Sample Peruvian Exchange Rates, 1875-1965
Table A.2. Coca and Cocaine Exports from Peru, 1888-1910
Table A.3. Reported Cocaine Factories by Region, Peru, 1885-1920s
Table A.4. Active Cocaine Factories in Peru, 1920-1950
Table A.5. Cocaine Smuggling: Reported Seizures, 1935-1970s

Bibliographic Essay: A Guide to the Historiography of Cocaine

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

There is simply no other work comparable to Andean Cocaine. The methodology, the evidence, and the interpretations come together in mutually reinforcing ways that make this arresting study an outstanding example of what scholars in history and anthropology should aspire to in their own work.—William O. Walker III, University of Toronto, author of Drug Trafficking in the Americas

Andean Cocaine is an important intellectual achievement. Gootenberg uses a fluent narrative and a new and sophisticated interpretation to discuss the link between local and global events and to explain the roles played by unequal actors and institutions. A first-class book.—Marcos Cueto, Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, Lima, Peru

This is a scrupulously detailed historical account of both the coca leaf and cocaine as global commodities. It argues convincingly that most attempts to stamp them out have proved counterproductive, ignoring both the enormous differences between coca and cocaine, and the ancient history of coca leaf use by indigenous Andean peoples. A thoughtful contribution to the growing literature on commodity chains.—Sidney W. Mintz, author of Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History

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