The Cigarette: A Political History (Paperback)
Finalist for the Hagley Prize in Business History
A Smithsonian Book of the Year
--New York Times Book Review "An impressive work of scholarship evincing years of spadework...A well-told story."
--Wall Street Journal "A nuanced and ultimately devastating indictment of government complicity with the worst excesses of American capitalism."
--New Republic "If you want to know what the smoke-filled rooms of midcentury America were really like, this is the book to read."
--Los Angeles Review of Books Tobacco is the quintessential American product. From Jamestown to the Marlboro Man, it powered the nation's economy and shaped some of its most enduring myths. The story of tobacco's rise and fall may seem simple enough--a tale of science triumphing over corporate greed--but the truth is more complicated. After the Great Depression, government officials and tobacco farmers worked hand in hand to ensure that regulation was used to promote tobacco rather than protect consumers. As evidence of the connection between cigarettes and cancer grew, scientists struggled to secure federal regulation in the name of public health. What turned the tide, Sarah Milov reveals with her groundbreaking research, was a new kind of politics: a movement for nonsmokers' rights. Activists and public interest lawyers took to the courts, the streets, city councils, and boardrooms to argue for smoke-free workplaces and allied with scientists to lobby elected officials. The Cigarette puts politics back at the heart of tobacco's rise and fall, dramatizing the battles over corporate influence, individual choice, government regulation, and science.